Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Fund-raising Botham visits hospital children's unit 'where it all began'

ENGLAND and Somerset cricket legend Sir Ian Botham started his latest fund-raising walk - and visited Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, where it all started for him 20 years ago.
Sir Ian, who is president of national blood cancer charity Leukaemia Research, walked around the hospital with chief executive Jo Cubbon and consultants Dr Linda Whiteford and Simon Bolam.
He saw the new Beacon Centre for cancer patients, which will open in May of next year, and was cheered on outside the children’s unit, where he first met patients with leukaemia in 1985.
Sir Ian said: “It was great to be back at Musgrove Park Hospital where it all started for me over 20 years ago.
“The staff here are working hard with Leukaemia Research and many others to help beat childhood leukaemia for good.”
Dr Whiteford is a consultant paediatrician with a special interest in cancer and she joined Sir Ian on his walk round the hospital.
She said: “Leukaemia is the commonest form of childhood cancer and the work that Sir Ian and Leukaemia Research are doing to raise awareness and funds is helping us to make great progress.
“Survival rates have improved dramatically over the last 20 years and overall survival rates for children with leukaemia are now approaching 90 per cent.”
Anybody who would like to help Sir Ian Botham beat childhood leukaemia should visit or call 020 7405 0101.

  • Our photograph shows Sir Ian Botham and chief executive Jo Cubbon outside the children’s unit at Musgrove Park Hospital. Photo submitted.

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