Betty Stinton has been a LINC supporter now for many years, tirelessly fundraising to ensure the LINC Edward Jenner Unit was extended and refurbished as quickly as possible and continues to fundraise to help other patients and their families. This is Betty’s story.
In 2005 I took a trip to Canada with my husband and whilst in Vancouver I was half way up a staircase and couldn’t come down because of the pain in my hip. I thought that I may possibly need a hip replacement and so I finished my holiday and thought no more about it. For my 60th birthday treat I went to Paris and whilst there I was alarmed when I could not get on and off the coaches and I found the stairs impossible to manage, so thought I had better get an appointment to see my GP. When I returned home, I walked to the local shop to buy some baking ingredients but once I got there I was unable to walk back, so that day I went straight to the doctor who referred me for an X- ray.
I was referred to the Edward Jenner Unit at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and it was while I was there that I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. I was given chemotherapy via a pump which meant I was far more flexible but it didn’t work. My consultant told me that we couldn’t beat it and it couldn’t be cured but we could have life expectancy.
Following this I was given a course of treatment of thalidomide which led to a stem cell transplant and a stay of three weeks in Rendcomb side rooms at Cheltenham General Hospital. This is when I discovered LINC. As I spent my time in isolation in my room I had everything I needed to make my stay more comfortable, fridges, televisions, exercise bike and many other items, everything was provided by LINC. Once I left the ward I had to go along every two months to the Edward Jenner Unit which desperately needed refurbishment at the time.
I decided to put something back and started fundraising towards the Edward Jenner project that LINC had committed to fundraising for.
So I organised table top sales, soup kitchens, New Year’s Eve party, open garden weekends, garden parties, a remembrance service, Jubilee celebrations, cake making, BBQs, pudding evenings and Indian lunches, the list extends continually.
Currently I go along once a month for treatment, it’s not always pleasant but the Edward Jenner Unit is such a lovely place to be. It’s bright and cheery and the staff are so wonderful. It’s always such a positive place and I am so appreciative of the care I receive there. I have had seven good years and with everyone’s help the myeloma has been kept under control. We have had our ups and downs but I refer to it as a condition that has been kept under control and has enabled me to lead a reasonably normal life and be able to look forward and make plans and life is great.