Family pays for cancer refuge

CANCER victims and their families travelling to South Yorkshire for treatment are to be offered a home to stay in free of charge - paid for by the family of a man who battled leukaemia for two years.

Tuesday, 9th October 2007, 10:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th October 2007, 10:55 am

Known as Devi's Den, the South Anston bungalow has been bought by relatives of 26-year-old Devi Palmer, who know how gruelling it can be for patients and their families to travel on a daily basis for medical treatment.

Devi, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2000, used to undergo treatment at Christie's Hospital in Manchester and his mum Shirley said if accommodation had been provided close to the hospital, it would have proved less traumatic.

She said: "Not only did he have to travel there when feeling unwell, but he would often have to sit and wait for an overdue appointment, followed by any treatment needed - which could be a six hour blood infusion - and then wearily travel back home.

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"You can imagine how exhausted he felt. It took Devi three days to overcome these ordeals.

"From our experience, when trauma hits a family, the family wish and need to be together to support each other - it is of paramount importance, and the bungalow would allow this for people attending hospital for treatment here.

"As a number of people have to travel quite long distances to hospital, and as there is no facility for the whole family to stay together, we thought this would be a solution.

"It could even be used for just a short break away together."

Devi's mum said the 'Den' was a perfect legacy.

"His philosophy on life was a lesson to us all. He was a gentle and helpful soul, always thinking of others and had a strong sense of purpose in life," she said.

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"We greatly miss him but his sense of purpose and his love for others still shines on."

A Memorial Fund set up after his death in 2002 has topped the 28,000 mark, which will be used to pay for other ways of helping cancer victims.

One of the ideas is the purchase of a caravan on the coast to provide holidays for the sick and their families.

To complete the bungalow, white goods are still needed for the kitchen, along with flooring and carpets, bathroom suites, beds and garden fencing, paving and decking.

Anyone able to help should call Shirley on 07790 673989. Equipment for the project, discounts and help have been provided by Totty Construction, The Plumb Center, Sheffield, Terra Firma Tiles, Sheffield, Arnold Laver Timber World, Sheffield, Calendar Home Improvements, Rotherham, Sheffield Insulations and Moores Furniture, of Wetherby.


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