Hospital plaque marks 10 years of cancer patient charity

Basil SkyersImage source, Dr Sophia Skyers
Image caption,
The Basil Skyers Myeloma Foundation was set up after Mr Skyers died of bone marrow cancer in 2010

A plaque has been unveiled to commemorate a man whose foundation has raised £80,000 for bone marrow cancer patients.

Basil Skyers died of the incurable cancer aged 49 at Nottingham City Hospital in 2010.

Since then, the Basil Skyers Myeloma Foundation has funded a mobile haematology service and 14 wheelchairs for patients.

His sister said she was "really honoured" on her brother's behalf.

Dr Sophia Skyers said she founded the foundation with her family after two nurses attended her brother's funeral.

"It was so nice that they came and we felt compelled to raise money for them," the 62-year-old said.

"We started off raising money for the department, then the hospital, and now we help myeloma patients across England and Wales."

Image source, Dr Sophia Skyers
Image caption,
The foundation provides grants to patients who have been diagnosed with myeloma

The foundation helps people with incurable multiple myeloma.

Research published in the Blood Cancer Journal states men from African or Caribbean communities are up to three times more likely to be diagnosed with myeloma.

About 200 patients have received grants of up to £250, and hundreds have benefitted from a mobile haematology unit, which administers chemotherapy to sick people at home.

Dr Skyers said: "It's bittersweet as my mum died last year, and she would have loved to have seen it, but my dad was here and was so proud.

"Basil was born in Nottingham City Hospital in 1960, it's the place my dad first met him.

"To come back to commemorate his life, it's made him feel so proud."

One of the hospital's consultant haematologists, Dr Fran Wadelin, said the money from the foundation had been "invaluable not only to our myeloma patients, but to all the patients being treated here".

Image caption,
Dr Sophia Skyers and her father Dr Richard Skyers unveiled the plaque at Nottingham City Hospital on Wednesday

She said the ability to treat patients in their homes, personal mobility support, and grants to help with bills "helps support patients, and their family, through a very hard time".

Former Nottingham Forest footballer, and Basil's cousin, Viv Anderson said the plaque was "a great achievement".

The patron of the foundation said: "Sophia has been unbelievable in what she's done, if her brother was alive today he would be very honoured."

Image source, Dr Sophia Skyers
Image caption,
Former England and Nottingham Forest footballer Viv Anderson (pictured second left) is a patron of a charity set up after Basil Skyers (pictured right) died in 2010

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