Football legend David Seaman officially launched a unique mobile cancer information unit in Barnsley this week.
Former Arsenal and England goalkeeper David Seaman posed for pictures, signed autographs and cut the ribbon on the Healthwise branded van that will tour the town providing information, support and advice on cancer prevention and healthy lifestyles. David agreed to launch the unit because his Dad, Rodger, was treated for Bowel Cancer here at the Hospital.
David said: “I hope this helps to save a lot of lives in and around Barnsley and it’s a terrific idea to get messages about cancer out into the local community. It was a pleasure to come back to South Yorkshire and say thank you to the hospital for the care they gave my dad.”
Rodger said: “When I found out I had bowel cancer, David offered to get me help through the Bobby Moore Fund, of which he’s a patron. But I said I’d prefer to have treatment locally and I can’t speak highly enough of the care I got at Barnsley Hospital, it was second to none. When I asked him to help with the launch, he said yes straight away and was delighted to come along.”
A dedicated cancer information and support manager, Katie Hopkins, will take the van around Barnsley to schools and colleges, shopping centres and business parks to educate people on what they can do to reduce their risk of getting the disease by living a healthier lifestyle.
Existing services for cancer patients and their families and carers will also be developed both at the hospital and out in the community.
Katie Hopkins said “We are really pleased that the unit is up and running and very grateful to David and his family for coming here to support us. Cancer affects one in three people and there is lots you can do to change your lifestyle and reduce your chance of being affected. This unit will be a real asset to Barnsley and we hope it will make a significant difference to both the levels of diagnosis and to people already living with cancer.”