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'We're taking the plunge to thank marvellous hospital'
FAMILIES, friends and supporters of people treated at the John Radcliffe Hospital will fight their fears and abseil down the Women’s Centre tomorrow.
Throughout the day, 159 people will be strapped into harnesses and walk down the side of the 100ft building to raise money for the hospital.
The hospital’s charity, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds, has raised about £800,000 from the abseils in the 10 years they have been holding them.
This year funds will be raised for the Children’s Hospital, Oxford Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Group and Oxford Transplant Centre.
People between the ages of 18 and 88 have taken part in the abseils in the past.
Rebecca Poffley, 25, from Didcot, will abseil to thank Oxford BRA Group, a support group set up by the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department, for its support for her mum, Jackie. Her dad Tony, 53, will also take part.
Jackie was diagnosed with sarcoma in 2006 and, before she was due to start chemotherapy, she found a lump in her breast in March last year.
In April she was diagnosed with breast cancer and in September last year she had a mastectomy.
Rebecca said: “To be honest, my dad roped me into it.
“I have been really nervous but I am looking forward to it now. But when I stand on top of the building I may not be so confident.
“We wanted to get the name of Oxford BRA Group out there, to make other people aware of what the charity does.
“They were important because you meet other women who have gone through it. It is nice to know others have gone through something like this.”
The father and daughter team hope to raise up to £800 between them.
Jackie said: “When I was diagnosed it was quite a shock. Everything goes blank. I lost myself for a long time.
“They are absolutely marvellous at Oxford. I cannot thank them enough and that is why my daughter and husband decided to do the abseil.
“They wanted to give something back, and I am so proud of them.”
She plans to cheer them on tomorrow, adding: “I will be behind them 100 per cent because they have been behind me.”
The Charitable Funds supports Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the county’s hospitals, to provide the best medical equipment, research and facilities for patients.
Charitable Funds spokeswoman Sarah Vaccari said: “The abseils are fantastic events that bring together people of all ages, from 18 to 88, on one day to raise money for hospital causes they care about most.
“They are one of our most successful fundraising events and we find people come away with a tremendous sense of achievement.
“We are incredibly grateful to the families, like the Poffleys, who show such support for the hospital, and we know that Sunday will be tremendous. If anyone is in the area, feel free to come and cheer the fundraisers on.”
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