Alison’s gift in her will
Alison Fielding has been treated under Guy’s Cancer for four years. Thanks to the care of the urology, oncology and cardiology teams at Guy’s and St Thomas’, she is living a fulfilling life for longer than she previously thought possible.
Alison has made the wonderful decision of leaving a gift in her will to TOUR at Guy’s and St Thomas’. She tells us her story and explains the reasons behind her decision.
'I was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2014. It was found when I was being investigated for a heart transplant. The large kidney tumour was impacting my heart and had already spread.
'I was referred to Mr Tim O’Brien in Guy’s Urology team. He offered me treatment of removing the primary tumour to reduce the burden on my body. As well as the normal risk for this operation, the poor condition of my heart made it an even higher risk choice.
'I was feeling "written off" when I was first diagnosed, so it was refreshing to be given an opportunity. I was helped to understand the risks and possible benefits and to make plans for any complications.
'I survived and have thrived in the subsequent four years. I take a drug to slow the progression of the remaining cancer which, whilst it has some nasty side-effects, has not stopped me living life to the full.
'I now have appointments with Dr Simon Chowdhury in oncology and Dr Gerry Carr White in cardiology. Together, they monitor the status of the cancer, help with side-effects and manage the impact of treatment on my heart.'
'To begin with I did some fundraising with friends, including the first ever St Thomas’ Abseil. But I knew that I could make the biggest difference with a gift in my will, so I decided to nominate TOUR (Translational Oncology and Urology Research) team to receive this.'
'I am very lucky that since I have been diagnosed, several new treatments for kidney cancer have become available due to research. However, there is still much to understand. The large numbers of patients seen at Guy’s Cancer make it an ideal centre to combine care and research. I wanted to help the team to establish themselves as a research centre in this area.
'Nowadays, many patients will research their surgeons and look at data on their outcomes. Teams such as the Guy’s Cancer teams will often have higher complication rates due to the complexity of their patients’ needs. If Tim hadn’t been prepared to risk his rating on me I would either be dead or bed-ridden, so a contribution from me when my days are over seems only fair.'
Why a gift in her will?
'We all know that tragedy can happen to anyone at any time, so please do something about one thing you can control and make updating or making your will a priority.
'It gives me peace of mind to know that my wishes will be carried out after my death and that I can make a real difference to the thousands of people with urological cancers that will come after me.
'I urge other people to get advice on how to write a will that will protect those that they love and leave a legacy to those people and organisations that have been important in their lives.
'Some people worry that if they let people know about any plans for a legacy, then their care will be compromised as eager doctors want their money. I am planning on living a good while yet and making them wait!'
Leaving a gift in your will, whatever the size, can make a real difference to staff and patients for years to come. Find out more about how you can do this and the support we can offer along the way.