When the asteroid called Breast Cancer hit my quiet suburban, comfortable life in July I didn't quite appreciate the impact it would have. I rolled from one scan, x-ray, blood test, MRI, biopsy, surgery to the next and I thought I was in control, well except for the incessant needles and the fear of the potential pain each procedure would cause. Strangely I was coping with the diagnosis, well back then I was, but I feared chemo and radiotherapy so when my radiotherapy rolled around, I pretended to be brave.

The walk-through Mt Vernon is long and winding, and it is evident that the building is falling apart. The route I took each day for 15 days passed the chemo rooms and I thanked G-d every single time that I was able to bypass those spaces. Despite the sadness, and fear that permeates the cancer unit, the teams who administered the radiotherapy, those who called to check in on me, the receptionists and the head of radiology were remarkable, reassuring, kind. These are special people who make you feel comfortable and cared for, despite being half-naked and vulnerable and petrified of what that monstrous machine is emitting.

I feel the need to give back something, anything. I know that this is all funded by the taxpayer, but there are patients who require so much more than I did, and they are fighting for their lives. If I am able to raise anything to make their journeys just a little less daunting, I would be very grateful and I am asking you to help me do that please.

Barbara Hotz