Taking on the tower for cancer charity

Laura McCandless from Lisburn along with friends, Amy Jamison, Nicola Hunter and Stuart Hunter.
Laura McCandless from Lisburn along with friends, Amy Jamison, Nicola Hunter and Stuart Hunter.

Local woman, Laura McCandless from Lisburn is getting set to abseil one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic and tallest buildings to raise money for local charity Friends of the Cancer Centre.

Laura, along with her friends Nicola Hunter, Amy Jamison and Stuart Hunter, are just four of the brave people taking on Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Take on the Tower Abseil, which will see supporters from across Northern Ireland abseil Belfast City Hospital’s famous yellow tower block on Saturday, April 22.

Laura and her friends are calling on the people of Lisburn to follow their lead and sign-up to take on the Northern Ireland’s 4th tallest building and make a 190ft adrenaline filled descent right in the heart of the city.

Laura, whose mum Deborah sadly passed away from cancer, is taking on the challenge to say thank you for the support they received whilst at the Cancer Centre. Looking ahead to the abseil she said: “My mum spent over five weeks in the Cancer Centre last summer having radiotherapy treatment. Whilst she was there, my family and I saw first-hand the work that Friends of the Cancer Centre do for patients and their families.

“Thanks to the charity, my mum received a complimentary foot massage once a week which she looked forward to. Also, thanks to the charity she didn’t miss out on her soaps as Mum was able to sit in the day room which is fully kitted out with a TV and soft sofa. It was also somewhere where we could sit as a family and have a cup of tea away from mum’s bed. These patient comforts were vital for my mum as they give her a sense of normality while she was in hospital for such a long period of time.

“My friends have been really supportive to me and, whilst we’re nervous about the challenge, we’re also really excited as we know the money we raise will make a huge difference to Friends of the Cancer Centre. Places for the abseil are filling up fast, so I’d call on the people of Lisburn to make sure they don’t miss out on this great event and sign up to Take on the Tower today.”

Friends of the Cancer Centre, based at the heart of the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital, is one of the leading cancer charities in Northern Ireland working to support cancer patients and their families through key projects in the areas of clinical care, patient comforts, and research. Friends of the Cancer Centre is currently funding 32 additional staff in the Cancer Centre, including doctors, nurses and researchers and the charity is committed to raising at least £5 million over the next three years to fund on-going and new projects which will continue to support local cancer patients.

Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Fundraising Manger, Claire Hogarth said: “The Cancer Centre and Belfast City Hospital are two of the most important buildings in Northern Ireland, treating countless numbers of people. The striking yellow tower block of Belfast City Hospital is also one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic buildings.

“Over the past two years, nearly 400 people from across Northern Ireland have taken part in the Take on the Tower abseil. This year we want to make the event bigger and better and are calling on thrill seekers from Lisburn and across the province to Take on the Tower for us and raise funds for local cancer patients and their families.”

Registration for the event is £20 per person and each participant is asked to raise a suggested minimum sponsorship of £100 for the charity. Participants must be over 14 years of age. If you would like to Take on the Tower you can register online at www.friendsofthecancercentre.com or call 028 9069 9393 to find out more.