I would like to take a page to thank Chris Knighton for all the hard work she has done to Raise over a Million Pounds and now we have a North East Mesothelioma Nurse.
She is really a wonderful woman and it is great to see the Charity Money helping such a good cause.
Mesothelioma UK are funding Nurses through out the Country one by one we are having this special service.
The region’s first Mesothelioma nurse is to be appointed, thanks to a fund set up in memory of a Tyneside man
A fun set up in memory of a Tyneside man who died from a rare form of cancer has paved the way for the region’s first specialist nurse for sufferers of the disease.
Mick Knighton, from Wallsend, died in 2001 from Mesothelioma, a form of cancer affecting the lung and occasionally the abdomen caused by exposure to asbestos.
Widow Chris set up the The Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund a year later.
That fund has now provided the money which will allow the first Mesothelioma clinical nurse specialist to be employed in the North East, a hotspot for asbestos disease.
Chris, 67, works with fellow charity Mesothelioma UK, which funds specialist nurses across Britain. To date, it has funded posts at Leicester, Portsmouth, Cambridge, and in Wales.
Chris decided her fund would seek to raise money to create such a role in the North East.
“A lot of funding has been given by people who have lost loved ones themselves,” she revealed.
It is not yet known which hospital the role will be based at but it is hoped the nurse will be in post later this year, along with four other new positions around the country Mesothelioma UK is working on.
Chris said it was a regret such an employee had not been in place when her late husband was fighting the disease.
“If only there had been a Mesothelioma specific nurse and the treatment was available. There was not then. I think it is wonderful we have been able to set this thing in place.
“It is something I always wanted to have in the North East. I realised there is a need for a Mesothelioma nurse so it was something I wanted to have. I am absolutely delighted.”
The nurse will work full time in a hospital and will help staff a helpline run by Mesothelioma UK.
They will provide information for sufferers and have local, regional and national responsibilities.
Mesothelioma UK’s operational manager Dawn McKinley said: “When we first came into existence in 2004, one of our main aims was to fund specialist nurses around the country for Mesothelioma.
“To ensure that in areas of high interest, patients have access to specialist support.”
The money raised by the fund will be given to the charity, which will pass it to whichever NHS trust is to employ the nurse.
Two days a week of the nurse’s work will be funded by the charity.
Expressions of interest are already being invited from lung cancer multi-disciplinary teams from the North East which would be interested in developing a Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist post within their team.
Mick was exposed to asbestos while serving in the Royal Navy and was diagnosed in the year 2000 at the age of 59.