Singing teacher raises thousands for Sunderland Royal Hospital cancer care unit which saved husband's life
“We just wanted to give something back to the people who saved his life.”
Those were the words of Maggi Ballantyne who has raised more than £4,000 for Sunderland Royal Hospital to thank staff who cared for her husband during his battle with cancer.
After collapsing in May 2018, Alan Eynon, 63, from Washington, was later diagnosed with blood cancer Large B Cell Lymphoma.
He received chemotherapy at the hospital’s Phoenix Unit until December 2018 and then embarked on six weeks of radiotheraphy.
Alan is now in remission and even returned to work at DFS in Gateshead two months ago.
In recognition of the care Alan received, wife Maggi held a fundraising sing-a-thon and tombola at Washington Arts Centre on Saturday, July 6.
Maggi, 63, owns The Voice Studio of Maggi Ballantyne based at the centre, where she provides vocal and professional coaching.
She asked her former and current students to help her put on an evening of performance in a bid to raise funds for the Phoenix Care Unit.
The event raised an impressive £4,500 for the hospital unit.
Maggi said: “We thought we would lose him so often throughout his journey but he has come back.
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“We wanted to raise some money to give something back to the Phoenix Unit and the people who saved his life.
“Everyone got behind it, with former students, current students and singer friends taking part.
“The whole day was a real success and the standard of the singers was fantastic.”
As well as raising the funds for the unit Maggi and Alan have also bought a coffee machine for the staff.
Maggi said: “We found out earlier in July that Alan was in remission.
“We wanted to give something back to the unit and then move on with our lives.
“It has really been quite a journey.
“The staff at Sunderland Royal have been amazing, as have the GP’s and the NHS.”
The Phoenix Unit is the chemotherapy, haematology and infusion day unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
It is a hub for a range of settings for the provision of chemotherapy - hospital, home and outreach - depending on a patient's preference and treatment type.