Give a little back


On 21 January 2020, Ian Guest was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. Ian was treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham during the last year. Throughout the month of June, Ian’s daughter, Laura and nine-year-old granddaughter, Amelia, have been walking every day to raise money for University Hospitals Birmingham Charity.
Read Ian’s story below, from the perspective of his daughter, Laura.

“21 January 2020, the day my dad had confirmation that he had oesophageal cancer. As a close family, we felt our lives had been shattered. All of the unanswered questions and the ‘what ifs’. After many tests and scans, results showed that dad’s cancer was contained, and a treatment plan was put in place.

The staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) were fantastic right from the very start. Putting our minds at ease, the best they could.  For any family going through cancer treatment with their loved ones, it is hard. To watch a loved one going through cancer treatment during a pandemic was heart wrenching. All my dad’s appointments, scans and even his life saving operation, he faced alone. No visitors, no family hugs, nothing. We could only drop him off and collect him.  My dad faced his chemotherapy alone, wondering how it would affect him.

The time came for his life saving operation, 24 June 2020. We could not walk him onto the ward and hold his hand to reassure him. We had to rely on the doctors and nurses to take our place and that is exactly what they did.
My dad’s operation went really well and within minutes of the consultant, Mr Tan, coming out of theatre, he was on the phone to my mom telling her that the operation had been a success.

The following days were hard, really hard. We were not allowed to visit; we had to wait for updates from the team, and my dad when he felt strong enough.
The team on the Upper GI ward were absolutely amazing. In my dad’s words “5-star care”.  He really could not have been in any better place than the QEHB, surrounded by the wonderful staff.

Just eight days after major surgery, dad was allowed to come home to recover. That is just what he did, going from strength to strength. Dad still has regular phone appointments and scans to check everything is as it should be, but 12 months on after his operation, he is clear of cancer and getting stronger every day.

Since the operation, my dad has taken a keen interest in bike riding and cycles at least 20 miles per week!

On behalf of my dad and our family, we would like to take this opportunity to thank every single member of staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for the outstanding care and treatment my dad received. Without you, it could have been a very different ending to our story!”

Since Ian’s diagnosis, his daughter Laura has been fundraising for all the charities which supported her dad, and their family through the hard times. These include Cancer Research, Macmillan, and University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) Charity. Laura has raised over £3,000 since March 2020.


Throughout June, Laura and her nine-year-old daughter, Amelia, have been walking every day to raise money for UHB Charity and the QEHB, and have walked 300,000 steps throughout the month of June.
Laura said: “It is our turn to give a little back.”

You can support Laura and Amelia’s fundraising here.

Or if this has inspired you to get involved in some fundraising of your own, see how you can get involved here.


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University Hospitals Birmingham Charity is a company limited by guarantee in England (No.10004003) and a charity registered in England and Wales (No.1165716).Registered Office: 5th Floor Nuffield House, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham B15 2TH

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