Warwick Hospital cancer nurse helping a cause close to her heart

A cancer nurse from Warwick Hospital who went through cancer herself will be joining people from across the UK for a charity walk.

Lesley Gotschy, 57, who lives in Warwick, has worked at Warwick Hospital for 20 years and has been a cancer nurse for 15 years.

Lesley Gotschy. Photo supplied

Lesley Gotschy. Photo supplied

In November 2017 Lesley was diagnosed with bowel cancer after she went to her GP after having some initial symptoms.

She said: “I was extremely tired, short of breath and had a niggly pain in my right abdomen.

“I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in November 2017. It was a huge shock. You never think it will happen to you. I don’t think being a cancer nurse made me any more immune to the overwhelming feeling of shock and uncertainty about the future.

“My family were of course devastated as were my brilliant work colleagues and friends.

Bowel Cancer UK's Walk Together event in London last year. Photo by Brendan Foster

Bowel Cancer UK's Walk Together event in London last year. Photo by Brendan Foster

“I had surgery and six months of chemotherapy and thankfully have now been clear for almost two years. I was treated at work by some of my fantastic colleagues in the Aylesford Unit.

“I know it must have been difficult for them too, treating someone they know well but they were absolutely brilliant and supported me every step of the way. My surgeon and his team were great too.

“I was lucky to have a great family, friends and work colleagues who were there for me every step of the way.”

After coming out the other side of her cancer diagnosis and treatment, Lesley wanted to raise money and awareness for Bowel Cancer UK and decided to take part in the charity’s Walk Together in London tomorrow (September 14).

Bowel Cancer UK's Walk Together event in London last year. Photo by Brendan Foster

Bowel Cancer UK's Walk Together event in London last year. Photo by Brendan Foster

The event is a five-mile walk along the River Thames from Tower Bridge, which will pass iconic city sites such as Shakespeare’s Globe and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Lesley said: “I’d really like to make a difference and anything I can do to raise funds for the life-saving work of Bowel Cancer UK has to be a good thing.

“Obviously this is a cancer charity close to my heart having had the disease myself.

“Being a cancer nurse specialist I know how much money is needed to fund research into new treatments but also there is a need to raise the awareness of early diagnosis by highlighting the symptoms to be aware of.

“My sister Claire and four of my fab friends and work colleagues, Karen, Lilly, Rachel and Chris are taking part in the walk.”

Lesley has launched a fundraising page and is aiming to raise £200.

To sponsor Lesley click here or go to: www.gofundme.com/f/lesley039s-campaign-for-bowel-cancer-uk

Vicky Martin, community fundraising manager for Bowel Cancer UK, said: “We are thrilled to have Lesley Gotschy and her friends, family and colleagues and the team taking part in Walk Together and raising funds for the charity.

“For us, it means we can continue with our vital work of saving lives and improving the quality of life for everyone affected by bowel cancer. Walk Together is for all ages and abilities and you can walk with friends, family and colleagues, or invite your local community to join you.”

To sign up for a Bowel Cancer UK walk click here or go to: bowelcanceruk.org.uk/walktogether