Sarah Bennett has completed five amazing challenges to raise funds for our Breast Unit Special Appeal so she could give something back to the RUH after her crucial surgery.

Sarah who has raised an incredible £2,840 for our appeal, found out in October 2017 that she carried a mutation in her BRCA2 gene (meaning she had an 80% lifetime risk of breast cancer), so she made the difficult decision to have a potentially life-saving double mastectomy at the RUH. Sarah said:

“My experiences of the Breast Unit over the past three years have been nothing but positive. The care I have received has been fabulous, but they do need more space. Whilst my BRCA diagnosis continues to be a difficult journey to navigate, I am thankful for being able to take action before actually developing cancer. As the Appeal is raising funds to supplement the redevelopment, it feels very apt for me to contribute to something close to my heart. ”

The challenges which Sarah completed this year were the South West Coastal Half marathon on 6th April, the Pembrokeshire Coast Half Marathon on the 27th April, the Brecon Trail Half Marathon on 11th May, the Westonbirt Sprint Triathlon on 27th May and the Bowood House Triathlon on 20th June. She originally set out to raise £500 for the appeal, but smashed her target, raising £2,840.

Sarah spent five days in the RUH recovering after her major operation, after which she said:

“The care I received on the Charlotte Ward was fantastic, and I know we are all aware how hard nurses work, but it really isn’t until you see it that you really do appreciate just how hard. The whole nursing team, healthcare assistants, cleaners and volunteers on the wards work tirelessly for hours doing a simply amazing job. They showered me, fed and watered me, mopped up my tears and comforted me when it all became too much. And believe me, it did! I cannot thank them all enough.

“My whole experience and journey through different areas within the hospital was pretty much faultless. As a part of the process I also met with the Clinical Psychologist. His support was invaluable both before, after and during my hospital stays. He even appeared within an hour of me returning to the ward after surgery to check I was OK. The care and compassion of my surgeon and Breast nurse made a whole world of difference in making my experience much more manageable.”

With the support of fundraisers like Sarah, we hope to reach our £450,000 target for the refurbishment and expansion of Breast Unit, which sees around 6,000 outpatient referrals to the unit every year. Of these patients, around 400 will be treated for cancer.

The NHS is providing £1m to fund new equipment in the Breast Unit, and donations from our charity will pay for a new area for mammographic and MRI reporting, an improved waiting area and peace garden, enlarged consultation suites and the space to deliver survivorship care to patients after treatment.

Can you support us? If you’ve been a patient or have a loved one who has been treated in the Breast Unit and want to give something back, please click here for more details of how to get involved.