Breast cancer patient Mary’s praise for charity lifeline

PRAISED ... Mary Clark and Fred Burr have thanked  Daft as a Brush for all their help.

PRAISED ... Mary Clark and Fred Burr have thanked Daft as a Brush for all their help.

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A SOUTH Tyneside woman battling breast cancer has paid tribute to the charity that has been her “lifeline”.

Mary Clark has travelled back and forward from her South Shields home to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital every day for the last three weeks for radiotherapy.

The 69-year-old, of Glenthorpe House, West Stevenson Street, was diagnosed with breast cancer in April after a routine mammogram.

Ms Clark, a former worker at Filtrona Filters, in Jarrow, had a lumpectomy operation to treat the disease, but after some cancer was left behind, it was decided she needed radiotherapy.

After undergoing her last round of the treatment, which uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells, on Friday, she now wants to thank Daft As A Brush Cancer Patient Care for getting her to hospital every day.

The charity was set up to transport cancer patients to and from the Freeman and Royal Victoria Infirmary, also in Newcastle, from the three Northern counties.

Ms Clark, who lives with her partner, Frederick Burr, said: “My radiotherapy started on July 21 and it was every day, Monday to Friday, for three weeks.

“It was my last session on Friday, and now I’m just waiting for the results to come back.

“We took the car for the first couple of days, but it was terrible trying to find somewhere to park and it just added to the stress of everything.

“We saw a flyer for Daft As A Brush and we asked what it was and we got in touch with them and on the Thursday, they came to pick me up.

“They were marvellous. The drivers and all the staff are just brilliant.

“They don’t just drive you there, they sit with you while you’re waiting, come to check that you’re OK and take you home.”

Mr Burr, 73, a former shipyard welder, added: “The times of the appointments change every day and the charity even phoned up every night to say what time they’d be there so you’re not worried about waiting around for ages.”

The couple say Daft As A Brush helped keep them calm while they were going through a tough time.

Ms Clark said: “It took away a lot of the stress for us, and saved us a lot of money on petrol and parking.

“They were just so nice and friendly, and it felt so much easier getting there and back every day.

“They’ve been a lifeline to us. Now we want to make sure other people know about them and can use them.”

The charity was set up by Brian Burnie after his wife, Shirley, won her battle against breast cancer.

He put their £16m, 10-acre family estate in Northumberland, complete with luxury spa hotel up for sale, and put all of the proceeds into the venture.

Mr Burr added: “He sounds like such a brilliant man, and we wrote to him personally to thank him for everything he’s done for us.”

Ms Clark added: “I’d like to meet him actually, so I could say thank you in person, and tell him what a wonderful thing he’s doing to help people.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki

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