David and Barbara Shreeve organise a monthly drop in session for members of the Leeds Regional OPA at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre at Harrogate Hospital. It is an informal occasion and gives members the opportunity to discuss issues in a relaxed and friendly environment. Part of the session is to enjoy light refreshments home baking, local cheeses and pies.
At the drop in session on Thursday 18 February members were delighted to welcome HRH Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall.
Prince Charles is the Patron of Macmillan Cancer Care, a key partner of the OPA, that provides assistance in awareness campaigns, accommodation for meetings, literature, training and online information for oesophageal cancer patients.
The Royal visitors were very interested in the work of the OPA and particularly in how patients and carers support one another. John Taylor, Chairman of the Leeds Regional Group had the opportunity to speak at length to Prince Charles on the nature of the disease and the effects of the treatment. Prince Charles was also interested in the impact on the carer and questioned carers on their experiences.
Camilla talked with David Shreeve about the problems being encountered by survivors of oesophageal cancer, and those still undergoing treatment, particularly in regard to eating. She also recognised the value to both patients and carers of belonging to a support group.
Joan Bardsey, who had her surgery over 10 years ago, brings local pork pies to every session and was delighted when Prince Charles accepted her last pie!