New comfort box service launch to help radiotherapy patients

Kay Phoenix (littlelifts), Glynn Thomas, Kim Whitlock, Karon King, Oa Hackett (littlelifts) and Mark

Kay Phoenix (littlelifts), Glynn Thomas, Kim Whitlock, Karon King, Oa Hackett (littlelifts) and Mark Gilham. with the new radiotherapy comfort boxes. Picture: Littlelifts - Credit: Archant

Hundreds more women will be able to receive extra comfort as they start radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer following the launch of a new comfort box.

Kim Whitlock, Glynn Thomas, Karon King and Mark Gilham – NNUH Radiotherapy Department with the new c

Kim Whitlock, Glynn Thomas, Karon King and Mark Gilham – NNUH Radiotherapy Department with the new comfort boxes. Picture; Littlelifts - Credit: Archant

Norwich-based charity littlelifts has delivered its first packages to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) filled with items to support the possible side-effects of radiotherapy.

The bag of goodies are made up of moisturiser, seeds, herbal tea bags, hot chocolate, chocolate, metal free deodorants, shower gel, an eye mask – a heated eye mask aids relaxation - a water bottle and cordial and a tote bag to carry essentials.

The charity was founded by Bawburgh resident Oa Hackett following her own breast cancer diagnosis, after which she underwent both chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Through speaking to NNUH staff she learned radiotherapy patients felt “inferior” to women who have undergone chemotherapy, despite experiencing similar symptoms.


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Mrs Hackett, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, said: “They didn’t feel they should access support because they felt they hadn’t had the ‘harder’ treatment. I thought we have to do something to help these women.

A breast cancer diagnosis is a breast cancer diagnosis regardless of what treatment a woman has and it can be very hard.

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“It’s really important to help show kindness and care to women.”

“Not only will every item in the box help make a difference to how someone is feeling but knowing that people care about what you are going through means even more.”

In the next 12 months more than 700 women will face radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment in Norfolk and Suffolk. The treatment may require patients to travel to the hospital every day for up to three to four weeks.

On Friday, 30 boxes packed by littlelift volunteers were delivered to the hospital.

Karon King, NNUH breast advanced radiographer, said: “The contents are simply amazing and perfectly suited for breast radiotherapy patients.

“I know what an impact the boxes will have on patients, helping them to feel supported and cared for during a difficult time.”

The charity has received a £5,000 boost from its awareness campaign, where men donned bras for the day, as well as 200 people pledging to an act of kindness a day throughout the month.

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