New £4.85m cancer centre will make life 'easier'
- Credit: Steve Fulcher
A North Norfolk greengrocer, who is now living cancer free two years after his diagnosis, has praised the development of a £4.85m cancer centre for those living in the area.
Steve Fulcher, from Stalham, has run Dawn Fresh Greengrocers in Sheringham for 25 years, and was diagnosed with bowel cancer in August 2018.
The father of three's cancer had spread to his liver, collar bone and lymph nodes and due to no facilities in north Norfolk, he travelled to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for treatment, a 90-minute round trip if coming from his shop.
He has praised the ongoing development of a £4.85m cancer centre at Cromer Hospital, which is due to open mid-2021.
Mr Fulcher said: “I used to drive to Norwich for my treatment, then drive home again afterwards. If it was a noon appointment I’d have to leave at 10.30am and then have four hours of chemo, there was no way I could get back to open my shop.
“I had many appointments at Norwich – my treatment, chemo and radiotherapy – time was the big factor, especially when you’re self-employed."
The 56-year-old had radiotherapy and chemotherapy, a ten-and-a-half hour operation and further chemotherapy. His latest scans last year showed no recurrence of cancer and told he is cancer free.
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He said he always kept positive and the birth of his first granddaughter Delilah days before his 10-and-a-half-hour operation was a huge boost.
The centre will aim to deliver an extra 600 surgical procedures a year from the main hospital as well as an additional 10,000 outpatient appointments a year.
He said: "It would have been great to have been treated at Cromer, it would have made things so much easier for me and it will be really good for the people from this area to be able to go there for treatment.”
The cancer centre will also have six chemotherapy chairs, three new clinic rooms, two new minor procedure rooms, and a cancer information and support centre.
It is being built in partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Norfolk & Norwich Hospitals Charity.