Bike race’s cancer boost

Lou Bryan Sheffield's Marie Curie nurse, and fundraising placement student Emma Sargent got on the tandem in Sheffield

Lou Bryan Sheffield's Marie Curie nurse, and fundraising placement student Emma Sargent got on the tandem in Sheffield

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Care for cancer patients across Sheffield will reap the benefits when the city hosts the Tour de France next year.

Organisers of the Grand Départ – the start of the race – have announced a portion of the proceeds will be donated to a new service providing end-of-life support to people in their own homes through Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Lou Bryan, aged 49, was given the role of end-of-life care nurse a year ago and has already seen the huge impact the service has on people’s lives.

Based at St Luke’s Hospice in Whirlow, she provides the missing link between different medical teams.

While there are many healthcare workers who visit terminally ill patients at home, the addition of a Marie Curie nurse means they can receive the same level of care they would in hospital.

Lou, a former staff nurse at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, said: “There are a lot of good care services in the city, but not many have a registered nurse attached to them.

“I work alongside district nurses and palliative care nurses, district nurses and doctors.

“I think I’ve helped about 50 families in the last year.

It is hoped the cash from Sheffield’s part in the world- famous cycle race, set to take the city by storm next July, will allow the team to expand.

Lou said: “If we can generate enough support, we’ll be able to advertise for a new member of staff.”

To boost Marie Curie’s mission, Lou and fundraiser Emma Sargant got on a tandem bike and cycled part of the route through Yorkshire.

Sheffield residents are being encouraged to organise their own fundraising events in the build-up to the big race.

Dr Jane Collins, Marie Curie chief executive, said: “It is a great honour for us to be associated with such a prestigious event.

“Our nurses provide them and their families with free care and emotional support, in their own homes.”

The 2014 Tour de France starts in Leeds, with stage two from York to Sheffield taking place on Sunday, July 6.

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