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Cancer survivor raises thousands for The Sunrise Appeal

A patient who has been given the all clear after battling prostate cancer has raised thousands of pounds to “give something back” to the charity that helped him overcome his illness.

Simon Brown, who underwent treatment at the Sunrise Centre in Treliske last year, raised a total of £8,603.37 by throwing a private auction at Avington Park, a stately home in Hampshire, in April. He has donated 90% of the total raised to the Sunrise Appeal and 10% to Cancer Research UK.

Over 40 lots were generously donated to the cause by businesses and individuals, with four Premier football tickets at the Emirates fetching the highest bid at around £600.

Mr Brown was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February 2018, and had surgery in Exeter before undergoing radiotherapy at the Sunrise Centre in July. He was given the ‘all-clear’ in February this year.

Mr Brown, who’s wife has worked at the Sunrise Centre as a Therapy Radiographer for the past 14 years, said, “Everyone was thrilled with the amount raised! It was a pleasure to organise the auction as I was incredibly pleased and proud to support the Sunrise Centre; the treatment and kindness they gave me was simply exemplary and I wanted to do something just to pay them back.”

Colin Micklewright, Trustee and Treasurer of the Sunrise Appeal, praised Mr. Brown for his efforts and said, “We’d love to say a huge well done to Simon – it’s a fantastic amount and we’re very thankful for the support you’ve given us.”

Crucial cancer services provided by the Sunrise Centre in Truro were under threat in 2017 when NHS England announced proposals to centralise treatments for rarer forms of cancer – a move that would have seen some patients forced to travel out of county for vital care.

A campaign by the Sunrise Appeal called for “anyone and everyone in Cornwall who has ever been affected by cancer to make their voices heard,” by contacting NHS England to oppose the plan.

The campaign resulted in over 11,000 people expressing their concerns – the highest ever recorded response to an NHS consultation – with 90% of the responses hailing from Cornwall. As a result, NHS England made “substantive changes” to its original consultation, with the threat of patients from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly potentially having to triple their journey times to Exeter or even Bristol removed.

The Sunrise Appeal has raised more than £3 million to date for world-class oncology services at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. Janet Shephard, Former Head of Radiotherapy and Trustee of The Sunrise Appeal, added, “It’s the generosity and ingenuity of charity events, like Simon’s recent auction, that helps us keep such incredible cancer services in the heart of the county.”

“The Sunrise Appeal remains committed to raising funds to ensure that the Sunrise Centre maintains a gold standard status for all local patients into the future.”