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Charity ‘Games Night’ bags over £2,000

It was laughter, fundraising and games galore as two Portchester ladies proudly raised £2,005.03 for Southampton Hospital Charity’s Neurological Department (brain tumour research fund).

Both ladies have had dealings with this department, having suffered with benign brain tumours in the past and they wanted a way to say thank you to the staff and department that saved their lives.

Jan Cole, 62 from Portchester was treated back in 2006 for a brain tumour, the size of a tennis ball which was wrapped around her optic nerve. Following the operation, she recovered but was never the same person again. The 5 hour major operation left her with a DVT which then turned into a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. She has been left with a number of side effects that are unlikely to change, including loss of taste and smell, damage to her eyesight and an inability to retain information: “I am fortunate to have been saved by the staff and treatment I received from Southampton General Hospital. It was a very scary time for me and my family, something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.”

Chris Wilkinson, 61, also from Portchester was operated on in August 2013, for a Benign Pituitary Macroadenoma, the size of a golf ball. Chris’ optic nerve was stretched over the tumour and she was in danger of losing her eyesight. She was fortunate that the local optician noticed the tumour when she had her routine eye test and was operated on shortly after that. The operation was a success and Chris’ colour vision and peripheral vision returned. She now has yearly MRI scans to monitor the growth of the small piece of tumour that was left behind.

The Games Night took place back in May, in Fareham and Jan and Chris were overcome with its success. Chloe Atkinson, 32, from Fareham, daughter of Jan, helped with some of the organisation of the event:  “The event went amazingly well, over 100 people attended and everyone loved the games we had arranged. There were some old TV favourites including ‘Play Your Cards Right’ and ‘Take Your Pick’ as well as amateur horse racing, skittles, themed bingo and guessing games. Chris, my mum, family and friends put a lot of hard work into making this event a success and it definitely paid off”.

In addition to all of the games, Jan and Chris received raffle donations from dozens of local businesses, from hair and nail bar vouchers, alcohol and designer gear to perfume, restaurant vouchers and theme park passes, with lots of other prizes in-between. 

Margaret Bailey, 55 also from Portchester attended the games night: “It was great fun and I have never seen so many prizes in a raffle. Jan and Chris did really well and the event was a great success, raising money for such a worthy cause.”

Chris enjoyed organising the event: “This has given us a wonderful opportunity to highlight the amazing work done by this department at our local hospital.”

This isn’t the first charity fundraiser for the Southampton Hospital Charity.  Back in June 2013, Jan organised a charity barn dance, again raising £1,543 for Southampton General Hospital’s Neurological Department.

Jan explained that her ordeal isn’t over yet: “In 2015, my consultant rocked my world once again with the news that my tumour is returning and I’ve been given 3 options to consider.”

Shockingly, in this country, every year over 160,000 people are admitted to hospital with head and brain injuries. Approximately 16,000 people are diagnosed with malignant brain tumours and the incidence of brain tumours in children is increasing.

We wish both Jan and Chris all the best for the future and for highlighting these serious conditions and the outstanding treatment they received. 

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