Written by Karen Powell, St Barnabas supporter
“I was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in June 2011. Eight years later, I found a lump in my groin and I was absolutely devastated. I had surgery to remove ten lymph nodes, but it wasn’t a success. A PET scan showed inoperable melanoma in more nodes, so my cancer became stage four and I began palliative immunotherapy treatment in 2020.
“Immunotherapy treatment was tough. My body reacted badly to it and it attacked my lungs, leaving me vulnerable to catching the coronavirus. My mental health was also affected as a combination of shielding and steroids caused me to gain weight.
“I threw a Gin and Jammies party just before the lockdown because it seemed like the perfect excuse to get the girls round and have some fun for charity. We played Jenga, table top curling and pass the parcel. There was laughter and chat, as well as gin and prosecco! It was a much-needed catch-up and gave me a reason to forget about my cancer.
“The party raised £250 and I feel so glad to know that this money has helped to support people across Lincolnshire in a similar position to me. St Barnabas does such an incredible job supporting the people of Lincolnshire and you really don’t know if you or a loved one will ever need their services. If the time came, I would have no hesitation in calling upon St Barnabas to support my family and I through difficult times.
“When I was able to come off the steroids later that year, I started a fitness plan and began going for walks once it was safe to do so. Then in March 2021 I received the amazing news that my cancer is now in remission. To say I am over the moon is an understatement!
“I’m so excited to see that Gin and Jammies has returned again this year with a virtual event, and who isn’t a fan of Gary Barlow’s music? It’s certainly something I will be telling the girls all about.
“I also have plans to walk a whole marathon and raise money for St Barnabas. It will be tough, but I’m determined to do it.”
“Tickets cost just £20 per person, giving you exclusive access to the online event, as well as a party pack with gin, tonic, cocktail recipes, spa products, wax melts, a silk eye mask and more! You can buy tickets at www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/ginandjammies.”