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£2,000 boost for appeal

PUBLISHED: 15:16 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

THE family and friends of a man who lost his life after a battle with cancer have donated more than £2,000 in his memory.

Brian Rackham, 58, died in January after a four-year fight with prostate cancer and so far more than £2,000 has been raised for the Palliative Care East Appeal in his memory.

THE family and friends of a man who lost his life after a battle with cancer have donated more than £2,000 in his memory.

Brian Rackham, 58, died in January after a four-year fight with prostate cancer and so far more than £2,000 has been raised for the Palliative Care East Appeal in his memory.

His widow Gillian said: “It's a fantastic amount of money to be donated in his memory and I would like to thank everyone for their support.”

Next week is Prostate Cancer Awareness week and Gillian and daughter Kate made an emotional plea for men to be more aware of the dangers of prostate cancer and encouraged people to be tested. Early diagnosis can improve the chance of finding successful treatment.

Kate said: “Prostate cancer largely affects men aged over 50 and if dad had of realised this, he may have gone for tests earlier.”

She added men whose families have a history of prostate cancer were also at greater risk, and that there had been a history in Brian's family.

Gillian said: “Brian was a very fit and healthy person. He enjoyed sports and loved walking. It wasn't until he started suffering with back pain that we realised something was wrong.”

Brian was diagnosed in 2003 and after further tests the family discovered the cancer had spread to his bones. A large part of his treatment involved palliative care which supports patients and their families whose lives are affected by incurable diseases such as cancer or motor neurone disease.

Gillian said one of the most important aspects of palliative care that Brian received was affective pain management and he worked closely with Dr Patrick Blossfeldt, lead consultant in palliative care at the James Paget University Hospital. The pain management made a big difference to being able to enjoy a good quality of life.

Kate said: “When dad found out he had terminal cancer he just got on with it. He was very positive about working with the doctors and trying different mixtures of drugs.”

Last year Brian spoke to the Mercury about his illness and the benefits a palliative care centre would bring to people with incurable diseases.

And Gillian still believes a centre would have helped the couple deal with Brian's illness in that people will have a “purpose built place to go.”

She stressed she had “no complaints” about the treatment Brian received from hospital from many different departments including the Sandra Chapman Centre and Broadland Suite and paid tribute to the staff that cared for him “so well.”

Potter's Leisure Resort in Hopton, will host a show staged by Potters Theatre Company. Tickets for the event cost £15 for adults and £7.50 for children, with special corporate tickets for £20. To book call Potters on 01502 730345, or visit www.pottersholidays.com for further details.

To join the fundraising team, host an event or for more information, contact Jenny Westgate on 01493 453348. Donations can be sent by post to the James Paget Healthcare NHS Trust Palliative Care Appeal, Palliative Care Team, Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, NR31 6LA. Cheques should be made payable to Palliative Care East.

Donations can be made online at www.palliative-care-east.org

Donations received this week include: Yarmouth Operatic and Dramatic Society £470; Palgrave (sponsor) £50; Sunjunkys (sponsor) £50; East Coast Recovery £25; Elysium (sponsor) £25; Mrs Ransome £50; Miss A Francis £25; Mrs Frewin £25; Mrs Took in memory of Pam Took £10; Mr and Mrs Syms £25; Mr and Mrs Branthwaite and Melissa and Michael Smith in memory of Irene Snowling £20; Sub Sea £1,000; E Armes £50; J Brandon £50; S Hoyes £282.50; S Butcher in memory of Mr A Kent £30; Graham and Lorraine English £1,452; P and S Cook £30; P Weavers £65; Mrs Anne and Miss Susan Allen £100; Professor M Harvey £50; St Andrews Lodge of Freemasons £1,000.

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