Berwick Infirmary team pulls together to support cancer fund-raising drive – Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Ryan Renton was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, a rare form of cancer in younger people, back in 2015 when he was just 19. After a gruelling spell of treatment, he went into remission, but was informed three years later that his cancer had returned.

Following a final treatment attempt just before Christmas, Ryan, his family and loved ones found out recently that there are no longer any treatment options available to him in the UK.

A fund-raising effort was launched to support Ryan seeking possible treatments which are available in Spain, Israel and the USA. The Berwick community has rallied round the popular 26-year-old, raising more than £50,000 so far.

Ryan’s mum, Tracy, works as a healthcare assistant on the ward at Berwick Infirmary. Throughout Ryan’s journey, she has continued to work, apart from a brief spell when she was shielding during Covid.

The team at the hospital, which is run by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, were keen to rally round Tracy, who has been a valued colleague for many years, and have organised an event – Make a change with change for Ryan Renton – to support the fund-raising effort.

Staff will be taking to static bikes to cycle a total of 340 miles (the total commuting distance of the ward team members) in 12 hours, from 8am to 8pm on Saturday, March 12.

Their endeavour will be taking place outdoors in the outpatient car park, along from the main entrance of the infirmary, and people are encouraged to come along and ‘make a change with change’ by donating their spare coins on a taped-out map of the hospital boundary.

There will also be a cake stall, raffle and tombola, plus activities for children. As well as a range of prizes in the main raffle, a special £10-a-ticket draw will give people the chance to win two full weekend tickets for this year’s Lindisfarne Festival, worth £120 each.

Anna Wood, Modern Matron at Berwick Infirmary, said: “Tracy is part of our family here at the hospital and it is heart-breaking what she, Ryan and other friends and family are going through.

“Despite everything that has happened to Ryan, Tracy has continued to work throughout and continues to provide high-quality care to our patients, so we wanted to reach out and support the fund-raising efforts at this difficult time.

“The fund-raising drive has already proved how close-knit the community is here in Berwick so we hope that people will support us at our event and help bring in more money for Ryan and his loved ones.

“We would also welcome any backing from the wider Northumbria Healthcare family, as we are very good at rallying round and supporting each other in times of need.”

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