3rd April 2023

Jemma Botten is running Bristol 10k on Sunday 14th May to say thank you for the care her boyfriend Tom has received at our hospitals for thyroid cancer.

Tom found a lump on his neck and was diagnosed with cancer in late November last year, aged just 25. He had surgery to remove his whole thyroid and some lymph nodes on the right hand side, as well as iodine treatment.

Since then he’s been having regular appointments at the hospitals and Zoom calls with physiotherapists.

Jemma said: “Tom is a very busy and active character; he is always out cycling, surfing, hiking and playing golf. Between his surgery and treatment, he had to stop all of this to focus on recovery. As well as this he was feeling physically and mentally exhausted. At the start of March we were able to go on a week's skiing trip in France after being approved by his doctor. Tom had an amazing time, but is still feeling slightly restricted with exhaustion and some pains. He is learning his new limits and to not go overboard.

“Tom was only 25 when he was diagnosed, so being diagnosed with this at such a young age, as well as being so fit and healthy was a complete shock! No matter your age or who you are, no one should have to go through this. This dramatic change in Tom's life has been a bit of a wake up call to just live your life to the full and not to stress over work and small things in life. Enjoy your time with your loved ones and do things that make you happy!”

To say thank you to all the staff who’ve taken care of Tom, Jemma is running Bristol 10k and has so far raised an amazing £1,350.

Tom had treatment for thyroid cancer She said: “All the NHS staff on the ward at BRI with Tom during his surgery were great. They were always making sure he was okay and providing him with excellent care, as well as even just offering a friendly conversation when visitors weren't allowed in. The staff were always so hard working even when the ward seemed busy. So a big thank you to the BRI staff!

 “I am completely new to running; usually at the gym I do weight workouts, but always struggled with cardio. It has been hard to get into it, but enjoyable when I'm able to keep going. I'm hoping I will be able to complete the run with no issues or hold backs.

“I'm most looking forward to going over the finishing line and seeing Tom, our families, friends and all the supporters. Tom and I are so overwhelmed and happy with the amount we have raised already! We've just hit £1,300, so my new goal is now £1,500! A massive thank you to everyone for the support.”

A big thank you to Jemma for doing something great for our hospitals. Good luck with the run, Jemma!

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