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Ben’s Walk of Life

Benjamin Hinchliffe from Chapmanslade, who at the age of 32 has had more than his fair share of health problems, is planning to take on the challenge of a lifetime by taking part in The Forever Friends Appeal’s Walk of Life on 16th May. Despite a recent stay on William Budd Ward at the Royal United Hospital, Ben is determined to take part in the full 21 mile walk along the Kennet & Avon Canal, alongside his mum, dad and brother along with other members of the family. He will be raising funds for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign to say thank you to the oncology staff at the Hospital who have looked after him so well.

When Ben was just four years old he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. At such a young age Ben was faced with grueling treatments, multiple hospital stays and care that still continues to this day. Here’s Ben’s story as told by mum Sally:

“Our brave son Ben has had more than his fair share of problems during his early years than most people have in a lifetime. He was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) at the age of four and at the age of seven had already relapsed and required a bone marrow transplant from his older brother. This itself led to further problems and more hospital stays.

Recently Ben has spent even more time as a patient in the RUH after an emergency admission in April 2014 led to another devastating diagnosis, bowel cancer. After the removal of a significant part of his bowel, chemotherapy followed. Treatment was dependent on how his body reacted having had so much treatment when he was younger.

He is now determined to return to full health and at the same time raise funds towards the build of a new state of the art Cancer Centre at the Hospital.”

One in two people are affected by cancer and everyday lives are changed by this disease, just like Ben and his family.  The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5million, which will contribute vital funds to the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the Royal United Hospital in Bath. This Centre will be a pioneering building, focused on an individualised and holistic approach to the treatment of cancer patients, where every part is designed around the needs of patients with different forms of cancer as well and their friends and family who visit them.  It will transform care for local patients and their families in Bath, Somerset, Wiltshire and even further afield.

With the help of amazing supporters just like Ben, the RUH Cancer Care Campaign is over half way to achieving its target of £8.5 million. Ben explains why this Walk and fundraising for the new Centre is so important to him:

“Before finishing my treatment at the end of 2014, having fought off pneumonia and other complications associated with my treatment, I picked up a leaflet for the Walk of Life and vowed I would take part this May. I continue to experience numbness and pain in my hands and feet as well as fatigue but I’m determined not to let these problems get in the way! Training is already well underway with walks along the canal, getting stuck into the gym and a break with my family in the Brecon Beacons!

After the wonderful care, support, kindness and understanding from the amazing team of nurses and doctors at the RUH I want to give something back and repay them in some way for all that they have done for me. By taking part in the Walk of Life’s 21 miles with the rest of my family I can help towards raising funds towards the build of the much needed new Cancer Centre that will help patients as well the brilliant staff.

If you would like to sponsor Ben and support the RUH Cancer Care Campaign please visit his online fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/Ben-Hinchliffe2

The Walk of Life, proudly sponsored by Kier Construction, is a positive walk to celebrate life with every step along the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal.  Taking place on Saturday 16th May, walkers can choose to walk the 9, 12 or 21 mile route which sets off from Devizes Wharf, winds through Bradford on Avon and ends at Sydney Gardens in Bath. Open to both men and women, entry is just £20 and walkers are encouraged to raise funds for the Cancer Care Campaign or another ward or department of choice at the RUH. If you would like to be part of this event and join Ben and his family please visit our Walk of Life page for more information.

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