Patient stars in campaign for charity

Geneva Rhodes appears on a large advert on the Axis Tower
Geneva Rhodes appears on a large advert on the Axis Tower

A great-grandmother living with breast cancer is set to become a familiar face after being chosen as one of the stars of a new charity awareness campaign.

An advert featuring Geneva Rhodes has been placed on a 51m-high video wall on the 18-storey Axis Tower, on Albion Street in Manchester city centre.

It promotes The Christie, the internationally acclaimed cancer centre in Manchester where Geneva has been a patient since October 2013.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a full mastectomy on her left side, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

By December 2014 the cancer had spread and she was offered the opportunity to go on a clinical trial.

With the help of the medication her illness is stable and she is able to live a full life with John, her husband of 36 years.

Geneva, 65, was brought up in Manchester before moving to Astley more than 30 years ago.

John took early retirement and the couple travel as much as they can and when at home enjoy quality time with their family.

They have a daughter and son, three granddaughters and a four-month-old great-granddaughter.

Despite having stage four breast cancer, Geneva is keen to share her story to help others.

She has become a member of a secondary breast cancer patient focus group and a patient advocate, attending wellbeing days twice a year.

On her involvement in the charity awareness campaign, she said: “This is an excellent way to make people aware that the charity is there and donations are required.

“It’s a privilege to be involved with The Christie and get the message across to other patients and carers that having cancer is not all doom and gloom.

It’s not the end of the world and you can still enjoy life while living with cancer.”

The campaign aims to show how crucial fund-raising is for The Christie charity and how many of the services provided by the hospital would not be possible without the support of charity.

It also shows the human side of care and treatment that The Christie provides.

It highlights the everyday work of The Christie, talking about saving lives, making breakthroughs, holding hands, wiping tears, lifting spirits, raising funds, ringing bells and beating cancer.

A key feature is that no actors or models have been used in the campaign - all the people involved are real people who have a connection to The Christie, including three patients, a doctor and nurse, two fund-raisers, a volunteer and the wife of a current patient.

The advertising campaign urges people to help The Christie “keep touching lives”.

It started on Tuesday and is running on everything from giant tower blocks to billboards, large digital advertising screens, bus sides, radio adverts and social media for three weeks.

The Christie charity hopes it will encourage donors and potential donors to think about the work The Christie does in the run-up to Christmas.

The Christie is fund-raising for a range of new projects throughout 2020, including building a world-class cancer research centre, funding a new 4D scanner, attracting world-class doctors and researchers, carrying out proton beam therapy research and conducting research into childhood cancer.

Donors and potential donors can support the campaign and make a donation at www.christies.org/donate.

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds.

This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services.

Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide for patients and their families.