Thetford woman's £1900 gift to hospital

PUBLISHED: 10:47 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 21:36 07 July 2010

A generous Thetford patient is to donate £1,912 to West Suffolk Hospital's dermatology department after undergoing successful treatment for skin cancer.

A generous Thetford patient is to donate £1,912 to West Suffolk Hospital's dermatology department after undergoing successful treatment for skin cancer.

Stephanie Saunders, 26, raised the cash after completing a gruelling sponsored cycle ride across Vietnam and Cambodia with friend Theresa Webster. The pair planned the trip for a year and covered 300 miles in just six days, raising a total of £4,289.

They've split the cash between the hospital, the East Anglia Children's Hospice and Discovery Quest in Norwich, which helps people with serious mental health problems.

The pair decided to take on the challenge after Stephanie was successfully treated for melanoma at the hospital. She has since had another benign mole removed and visits the dermatology department every few months for check ups.

“I was treated for melanoma at West Suffolk Hospital three years' ago, and had another mole removed recently,” she said. “That was our reason for doing this - we wanted to raise money for causes which were important to us.

“We planned the trip for a year and although we're both quite active already, we did lots of training beforehand to make sure we'd be able to cover all 300 miles. I've done a few bits and pieces for charity before but this has been the biggest - but it was well worth it and we saw some great sights on our travels!

“We're really grateful to everyone who supported us, and to the businesses in Thetford and Brandon who helped us with fundraising events and raffle prizes. We'd like to say thanks to everyone involved.”

During their fundraising efforts, Stephanie and Theresa were supported by the Ice nightclub in Thetford, Thetford Golf Club and Mr G's in Brandon, where they hosted special events such as a Halloween party and Abba tribute night.

Lots of local businesses and shops also donated raffle prizes, and Stephanie and Theresa also completed a fundraising weekend in the Lake District with two other friends, where they abseiled down a mountain.

Dr Venkat Gudi, consultant dermatologist at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “We are extremely grateful for Stephanie and Theresa's generous donation, and would like to thank them for their fantastic fundraising efforts.

“We are currently looking at where best to spend the money, and are likely to use it towards extra equipment. That way, we can ensure hundreds of patients will benefit from Stephanie and Theresa's generosity for many years to come.”

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