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Art for Cure members with their donation to Ipswich Hospital's John Le Vay Cancer Support and Information Centre
£12,000 boost for breast cancer patients
13 April 2017

Support for breast cancer patients at Ipswich Hospital has been given a boost thanks to a £12,000 donation which will fund special exercise classes for two years to help people continue their rehabilitation after treatment.

The John Le Vay Cancer Support and Information Centre has been given the money by Art For Cure, a Suffolk-based charitable organisation which fundraises specifically to support the care and cure of breast cancer. It will be used to fund exercise classes in Ipswich and Felixstowe for the next two years, as well as the re-order of special exercise DVDs so that patients can continue their rehabilitation at home. Both initiatives are currently paid for with the center’s charitable funds, which will now be spent providing other forms of support to cancer patients from within the support and information centre.

Art For Cure was set up by Belinda Gray and Sally Ball in 2014 after they both received treatment at Ipswich Hospital for breast cancer. Since then, it has raised more than £275,000 by holding art and sculpture exhibitions, £200,000 of which has been donated to Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity which helps fund research into the disease. 

Debbie Logan, Cancer Support and Information and Specialist Manager of the John Le Vay center, said: “We are very grateful to Art For Cure for their generosity. Both the exercise classes and the DVD have proved very popular since their launch, and have helped lots of patients to tackle some of the common problems associated with treatment, such as stiffness and restricted movement in the shoulders, neck and back.

“This fantastic donation will allow us to do even more for our patients by spending the money we would otherwise use on these classes in other innovative ways which will make a real difference.”

Belinda Gray, co-founder and chair of Art For Cure said: “Breast cancer has sadly affected so many and Art For Cure has received incredible support from people whose lives have been altered forever by this disease. We hope we can continue to make a real difference in helping find a cure, as well as helping those locally having treatment.”

The exercise classes run for six weeks, and are open to all breast cancer patients following treatment. Participants can then continue their rehabilitation at home using the DVD, which launched last year and has been professionally produced in partnership with qualified instructors Zoe George and Theresa Palmer.

Macmillan survivorship lead Louise Smith, who was closely involved with the project, said: “The DVD includes several short workouts designed to address the side effects of surgery or radiotherapy while improving people’s posture, range of movement and shoulder and upper back strength.

“We’ve had some really good feedback from people who have tried the exercises, and say their range of movement has improved and they have less pain, discomfort and tightness around scars. This is great news as it means they are able to get back to doing the things they enjoy more quickly.”

The DVD is available from the John Le Vay Cancer Support and Information Centre.

The Centre provides support to anyone affected by cancer and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm and available by calling 01473 715748.