Lorna with her mum, Harbhajan Kaur, and family presenting donation to Catherine Spencer, Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist Gynaecological Oncology from City Hospital and the team – (Far left) Pauline Lewis; (holding the 4) Lorna Nanda Gangotra; (holding the 0) Lorna’s mum, Harbhajan Kaur surrounded by her family: (front right) Catherine Spencer; (far right) Lorraine Pace with other members of the nursing team and Macmillan Cancer Support – Image Credit: Macmillan Cancer Support
Lorna Nanda Gangotra, an award-winning chef from Woking, embarked on a challenging trek to Mount Kilimanjaro raising over £7,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Her motivation was to express gratitude for the care her mother received during her cancer journey at a Birmingham hospital.
Lorna’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, and her symptoms were initially challenging to manage. However, the care and treatment provided by Macmillan nurse Catherine Spencer and her team at City Hospital proved pivotal in her recovery.
Accompanied by her family, Lorna journeyed to Birmingham to express gratitude to the Macmillan nurses. She presented the amount of over £7,000 which she raised through her Kilimanjaro climb.
Lorna’s effort was not only a token of appreciation but also a testament to the importance of cancer support within the South Asian community, where awareness of Macmillan Cancer Support might be lacking.
She said, “As a British, south Asian woman of Punjabi heritage I want to share my family’s experience of cancer and the support that is out there, within my community, where awareness of Macmillan Cancer Support isn’t as widespread.”
Lorna’s journey was deeply personal, as her family had experienced the loss of a loved one to cancer and her sister is currently undergoing her own cancer treatment.
Lorna’s dedication to raising awareness inspired her to climb Kilimanjaro and demonstrate the possibilities of overcoming challenges.
She aims to encourage her community to seek support and break the stigma surrounding cancer conversations.
“People from my community can often feel embarrassed or ashamed about the word ‘cancer’ or the symptoms they may have so do not talk to anyone about it or visit the GP when they should or seek the support they need. I want them to know they can call Macmillan,” she said.
Lorna added, “The same is true with climbing Kilimanjaro. If more people can see me climb the highest mountain in Africa for charity, they may be inspired to do the same.
“I do not have the right words to express my gratitude as to how Macmillan Cancer Support helped my mum and my family get through her cancer journey at the time, and they still do, to this day. Sometimes these charities can all seem a bit abstract and not real life, but just know, the work these people do is incredible and really does matter.”
Catherine Spencer, the Macmillan clinical nurse specialist for Gynaecological Oncology, expressed gratitude for Lorna’s substantial fundraising efforts.
Macmillan has supported City Hospital through additional funding, contributing to the appointment of a new Macmillan cancer care navigator, Lorraine, who provides comprehensive support to those affected by gynaecological cancer.
Pauline Lewis, Macmillan senior relationship fundraising manager, commended Lorna’s initiative and the emotional reunion between Lorna’s mother and the nurses who supported her during her cancer journey.
Macmillan Cancer Support relies heavily on public donations to offer practical, emotional, and financial assistance to individuals living with cancer.
Lorna’s story underscores the dedication of individuals like her, striving to make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.
Macmillan Cancer Support continues its mission to provide comprehensive support from the moment of diagnosis, working toward a future where everyone receives transformative assistance.