Margaret's birthday gift for cancer unit

Margaret Smith on her birthday. She is pictured in her house, surrounded by balloons. She is wearing a red jacket and a woolly hat.

Published on 27 May 2021

A woman celebrated her 80th birthday by raising money for the hospital where she is receiving treatment for ovarian cancer.

Margaret Smith marked the milestone by asking family and friends for donations instead of presents, after lockdown meant all celebrations had to be put on hold.

She hoped to raise £500 but collected more than double that, and was able to buy equipment for the Celia Blakey Unit at the William Harvey Hospital, as well as presenting them with a cheque for £480. Some of the money was also donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Mrs Smith, who lives in New Romney, said: “I was overwhelmed with how generous my friends and family were in donating money to support the unit.

“The staff are fantastic and have looked after me so well so I wanted to say thank you.”

Sophie Ross, manager of the Celia Blakey Unit, said: “It’s been a pleasure to look after Mrs Smith and we were so touched she thought of us on her birthday.

“Her donations have already been put to good use and we’ll use the money to further improve the service for all our patients.”