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Comfort boxes given to Ipswich Hospital incurable cancer patients

PUBLISHED: 11:26 25 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:26 25 August 2019

The charity littlelifts has given comfort boxes to support cancer patients at Ipswich Hospital. Pictured left to right are cancer quality of life project coordinator Sarah Lawrence, littlelifts operations and events executive Kay Phoenix, littlelifts founder Oa Hackett and Macmillan oncology breast cancer nurse specialist Rachel Clifton. Picture credit: EAST SUFFOLK AND NORTH ESSEX FOUNDATION TRUST

The charity littlelifts has given comfort boxes to support cancer patients at Ipswich Hospital. Pictured left to right are cancer quality of life project coordinator Sarah Lawrence, littlelifts operations and events executive Kay Phoenix, littlelifts founder Oa Hackett and Macmillan oncology breast cancer nurse specialist Rachel Clifton. Picture credit: EAST SUFFOLK AND NORTH ESSEX FOUNDATION TRUST

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Comfort boxes with treats and items to alleviate the effects of gruelling chemotherapy treatment are now being given to patients with incurable cancer at Ipswich Hospital.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs the hospital, said the boxes from Norfolk-based littlelifts "can have a positive impact on patients' wellbeing at what can be a difficult time".

The packages contain a variety of practical items, including a soft toothbrush and lolly recipes and moulds - because chemotherapy can leave mouths sore and painful - as well as a water bottle and cordial.

They are also packed with other treats such as herbal tea, chocolate, sweets and a notebook and pen.

littlelifts has already been providing boxes to women at Ipswich Hospital with primary breast cancer, where the disease has not spread. However this latest move extends the packages to people with secondary or incurable breast cancer.

Macmillan oncology breast nurse specialist Rachel Clifton, based at Ipswich Hospital, said: "I felt women with secondary breast cancer should be seen in the same light as those with primary breast cancer.

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"They deserve a boost too and will experience the same side effects of chemotherapy treatment as ladies with primary breast cancer, and that's what these lovely boxes are all for."

Oa Hackett founded littlelifts after experiencing primary breast cancer first-hand. She was diagnosed in 2014 at the age of 28.

During her treatment she received boxes filled with gifts from friends. She launched her charity so others could get that same comfort, but with practical items designed for those having treatment.

She said: "In response to feedback like Rachel's and her passion for supporting women with secondary breast cancer we wanted to make our littlelifts boxes available to those women too as there is an inequality for care and treatment between the two forms of the disease.

"We have seen the impact they've had on primary breast cancer patients and we know they will be well received by women with secondary breast cancer too."

Since October 2018, 82 littlelifts boxes have been given to patients at Ipswich Hospital.

Over the last two years the charity has gone from strength to strength, expanding to all Norfolk hospitals plus Ipswich and West Suffolk hospitals.

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