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New centre moves another step closer

PUBLISHED: 05:12 29 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:13 24 February 2010

CHARITY fundraisers are hoping the first bricks will be laid on a new cancer information centre for Suffolk by the end of this summer.

The Cancer Campaign in Suffolk is gearing up for the home run on its fundraising efforts, after raising £207,000 of the £300,000 cost of building the Cancer Education and Information Centre, which will go next to the oncology unit at Ipswich hospital.

CHARITY fundraisers are hoping the first bricks will be laid on a new cancer information centre for Suffolk by the end of this summer.

The Cancer Campaign in Suffolk is gearing up for the home run on its fundraising efforts, after raising £207,000 of the £300,000 cost of building the Cancer Education and Information Centre, which will go next to the oncology unit at Ipswich hospital.

This year will see what they hope will be their final drive towards the total, after more than four years of fundraising work.

The centre will be for people all over the county, and is aimed at helping people to catch the disease in its earliest stages, and at helping the families of cancer patients.

As well as internet access, the centre, which will be open weekdays, will have three private interview rooms, where specialists and oncologists can talk to family members about the illness.

Cancer Campaign in Suffolk is currently negotiating with another as yet unnamed national charity, which is set to provide the staff for the centre.

CCIS was founded by former Ipswich Town footballer Jason Cundy, who battled against testicular cancer, and oncologist John LeVay.

The charity has attracted some high profile support across the county, and its patrons include a host of local MPs.

Gina Cooper, secretary for the Cancer Campaign in Suffolk explained that the private interview rooms would mean specialists would no longer have to talk to relatives wanting to know more about the illness in corridors.

"If, for example, you were a husband or a child of someone diagnosed with cancer, you would actually be able to talk to someone. Those facilities aren't available on the NHS at the moment – they are available to the patient," she said.

The charity hopes the centre will provide a vital bridge for cancer sufferers and their families by providing them with the information they need about the condition.

"The earlier you catch a disease like that, the more successful the treatment is likely to be. A lot of people are reluctant to go to their GPs. They are reluctant to go to their health visitor or whatever. They would prefer to get the information themselves before they take the next step," explained Gina.

"We felt that information was the most important thing. Once you get the information, the fight against cancer starts to come on from there."

She added: "About one in three people get cancer, but an awful lot of people are being cured these days. The percentages of people getting successful treatments is increasing daily."

Among the fundraising events lined up this year in aid of the charity is a charity golf day at Cretingham golf club in July, a gala boxing evening organised by the Rotary club of Bury St Edmunds in April, and an old time music hall evening in March presented by the Rotary Club of Ipswich.

The latest initiative is "casseroles for cancer" parties where hosts invite friends around for a casserole lunch or dinner. The charity provides the posters, invitations, flyers, leaflets and balloon to help the party get off the ground, and guests make a donation to the fundraising appeal.

If you would like to help out with some of CCIS's fundraising efforts this year, telephone 01728 723725 or try the website at www.cancerinsuffolk.co.uk

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