To watch a short video from the event please follow this link to
the Trust's YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/uqbM225d9is
Over 300 people whose lives have been affected by different
types of blood conditions or blood cancers came together for a
patient conference in Durham in November.
The conference, entitled 'Living With and Beyond Cancer' was
organised by a network of haematology clinical nurse specialists
from NHS organisations across the North East. It included workshops
with leading consultants from the Cancer field as well as
inspirational guest speakers.
The guest speakers included Angela Knowles - formally Angela
Baker - whose late husband, John's battle against non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma inspired her and 10 friends from the Rylstone Women's
Institute to shatter the stereotypes of "Jam and Jerusalem" with a
risque charity calendar for the year 2000, and which went on to be
made into the film Calendar Girls - and ex-Sunderland football
captain Kevin Ball.
Fiona Strong, Haematology Specialist Nurse, is the Chair of the
clinical nurse specialist network organising committee behind the
event. She said: ""As a network of haematology nurses, we strive to
provide the best care and support for our patients and loved
ones. This conference came about eight years ago with a
donation from the Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund and because it was so
successful, we decided to organise one every 2 years.
"As a group, we have been extremely lucky in acquiring the
renowned clinical speakers and the patients who give up their time
to come and speak to our conference. Without the generosity of some
charities, NHS Trusts, Celebrity Speakers and patients/loved ones,
this event would not be as successful.
"I would like to thank all the patients/loved ones who will
attending the event at what is a difficult time in their lives and
hope that they are able to take something from it."
The conference was held at Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham. The
day-long event will begin with keynote speaker Professor Graham
Jackson. Prof Jackson works in Haematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow
Transplantation at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is
a Professor of Clinical Haematology at Newcastle University.
He is also the President of the British Society of Haematology.
This was followed by a motivational talk from ex-footballer
Kevin Ball about his life as a footballer. Patients then took part
in group sessions where they had the opportunity to hear from
leading consultant and clinical staff and patients about their
conditions with a focus on survivorship and how to live with their
conditions. The day closed with a talk from original Calendar Girl
Deborah Grimes, Haematology Clinical Nurse Specialist at County
Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is one of the organisers
of the conference and also led one of the break-out sessions
around 'living well'. Deborah said: "We are hoping through the
event that patients will meet others having similar experiences and
find support networks with each other which we know from experience
can be very powerful and really can't be underestimated. Through
the workshops there will be an opportunity for patients to learn
about new treatments and developments for the future. We will be
looking at symptom management and how to live with haematological
conditions - what it means to be a survivor. We really expect it to
be an inspirational event and hope that patients will take a lot
away from it."
Peter Green and Pamela Page are both living with forms
of Cancer and spoke at the conference.
'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been
excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very
thankful and relieved patient'.
Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital
of North Durham