Heather Parker

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I am a Chemo Chum Volunteer.

I am a Chemo Chum Volunteer, in the Chemo Suite of Saint James’s Hospital in Leeds; (affectionately known as Jimmy’s) part of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

To that effect, I am a Cancer patient myself, who now volunteers as a Chemo Chum, assisting my fellow patients as they receive their own Chemotherapy. I believe in helping others to help themselves. It has been my passion to set up a new volunteering position, which I called a “Chemo Chum”.

As patients, we are all advised to rid ourselves of as much negative stress as possible. This is “as important” as any treatment we receive. Not quite important, but “as important!”. This is at a time when we all experience a whole new wave of stress.

So, I decided to be a Chemo Chum to give my fellow patients someone to talk to, share with, play games, and also be their arms and legs whilst they are “tethered” to their Chemo chair having their treatment. We can’t get a reliable signal in the suite, so folk get bored quickly. The average treatment time is about 4 hours, sometimes with a Cooling Cap set at -6 degrees. Mine was 7½ or 9 ½ hours weekly.

We currently have 55 chairs, but can treat 100 patients per day. Statistics are reporting that 1 in 2 people will experience Cancer in their lifetime, those are some big odds.

Chemo Chums

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Chemo Chums
Chemo Suite Reception, J80 1st Floor, Bexley Wing, Saint James's Hospital, Beckett Street,
West Yorkshire
United Kingdom

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