Personal Stories

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Patient Perspective - Ian Walters

Ian and his Wife Sue live in Corby but were originally from Hertfordshire. 

4 years ago, in 2020 Ian was diagnosed with Melanoma on a birth mark that he has on his thigh.

He went straight into treatment, and he said that the NHS were amazing.  He has a great Cancer Specialist at Leicester Royal Infirmary who immediately did surgery to remove as much of the skin/tumour as possible.  Quickly followed by another two surgeries in the hope to remove all of the skin/tumour.  He was put onto immunotherapy medication but unfortunately the cancer had already spread into the Lymph Glands so another surgery to excise all the lymph glands in the thigh was necessary. 

Ian was then clear of Cancer for 15 months, but unfortunately it came back again.  They couldn’t do more surgery as it was deep into the pelvis by now.  However, they put Ian onto a different type of immunotherapy which has amazingly shrunk the tumour.  Ian now has a much better prognosis we are very pleased to say.  

Through the treatment Ian was struggling with the emotional and mental effects of having cancer so his family suggested that he give Lakelands a try.

Ian and Sue came along to the hospice on a Wednesday for a visit to see if he thought it would benefit him.  Ian was very surprised and found the hospice to be nothing like he expected. He found everyone friendly and welcoming and very easy to talk to. 

Ian now visits every Wednesday and believes that at Lakelands he gets a very holistic approach to his health and mental health.  He can talk to others in the same boat, and he feels it makes him open up more about his condition. 

Ian said “Coming to Lakelands has helped me deal with my feelings and emotions of having Cancer.  It’s very beneficial to me and my family and my wife gets one day of respite in the week as I worry about her too as she does so much for me.  I can have private conversations with the nurses about anything that is bothering me.  Lakelands Hospice is a wonderful Institution that I love coming to every Wednesday.

If you, or anyone you know feel they could benefit from our Day Services please contact ourNurse Manager Cathy on 01536 747755.


Volunteer Story - Alex Copeland

The first winter after Alex retired, he knew that he needed something to fill his time.  Feeling that there are only so many books you could read, he decided volunteering at Lakelands could be a great option for him.   He came to see our volunteer co-ordinator to find out what roles he would be suited to and two years later he is still volunteering at Lakelands. 

Alex gets involved in all aspects of volunteering; driving our mini bus to collect patients from and take them back to their homes, mini bus host (assisting patients on and off bus), gardening, collection boxes at supermarkets, manning our games stalls at our fetes (including play your cards right and splat the rat) and he has grown plants and donated them to the hospice gardens. 

Alex also took on the massive task of driver for our Three Peaks Challenge in 2016 and 2017. Driving for almost 26 hours in between each climb and just catching sleep when he could. Which goes above and beyond!

Alex, his wife Carol (who is also a volunteer at the hospice) and some members of his family attend our Curry and Quiz events that are held 4 times a year.

Alex said “I would recommend anyone with some spare time to volunteer with Lakelands, because I enjoy talking to the patients and building relationships with them as some are wonderful characters.  It’s my way of giving something positive back and helping others that are less fortunate with their health and well-being”. 

A big thank you to Alex for all the free time he gives to Lakelands and to all our volunteers who help make Lakelands what it is!

If you would like to join our team of volunteers please contact Jackie Henry on 01536 747755 for more details.


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