The club held a tennis tournament on Friday 16th June in memory of much-loved former club member Gill Green, who died in November aged 56, following a 14-year battle with cancer.
The tournament was followed by lunch and a raffle. In keeping with the spirit of the morning Amy Skelton, Senior Research Nurse and Richard Smith, Head of Fund Raising for the charity gave an informative talk on the centre’s work and provided some anecdotes of Gill’s time undergoing chemotherapy.
Alison Savage presents cheque to Richard Smith
Gill’s daughter Sophie, 20, who hadn’t played tennis for a long time, joined in, hitting her forehands in the same style as her mother. Sophie has become as inspirational as her mother, and this Sunday will take part in the Cheltenham Race for Life for the first time without her Mum by her side.
Event organiser Alison Savage says “Gill had been my tennis partner for over ten years during which time we became very good friends. I shared her ups and downs over the period of 14 years from the diagnosis of primary breast cancer to terminal cancer.
“Her grace and fortitude during the last few years of her life in dealing with her illness was admirable and humbling. Her positivity and constant smile touched all those who knew her and I always knew that I wanted to give something back to someone who had given so much.
“And so it was that the idea of a fundraising tennis tournament came to pass especially as tennis was Gill’s big love and passion. She had spent so much of her time at Cheltenham General that it seemed fitting to raise money for a local cause, the Focus Research Centre in the oncology unit.”
Richard Smith, Head of Fundraising for Focus, says: “It was incredible to see the determination shown by Alison and the team at East Glos to make a difference for local people fighting cancer. We are very grateful for their support, and the funds raised will provide direct funding for our research and clinical trials team working in the Gloucestershire Oncology Centre, expanding both our portfolio of trials and the number of local patients who can take part in new research”.
The Focus team are based in the Gloucestershire Oncology Centre, and their work reaches out to a population of one million people over an area covering South Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and parts of Wales.
Alison Savage (2nd from right) with club members Mandy Walker, Jacqui Matthews & Nigel Watson (winners), Sally Pendry