Impressive golf event raises £18,000 for thymic tumours research

Wendy Lodder is fighting a rare type of chest cancer with the help of Guy’s Cancer.

Wendy and Sarah address the event, Steve Davis gets a hole in one.
Wendy and Sarah address the event, Steve Davis gets a hole in one.

To show her thanks for their support, she held a very special golf day to raise funds towards research into the condition, which was attended by six-time world champion snooker player, Steve Davis.

Wendy’s story  

Back in October 2016, golfer, Wendy Lodder was diagnosed with thymic carcinoma, a rare gland cancer which occurs in the chest. The condition is so rare that there are fewer than 10 cases a year in the UK.  

It was the pain in her chest and back, as well as breathlessness, which first flagged an issue. Wendy continued on as normal, but everyday things became far more difficult. For example, playing golf became more of a challenge as a tumour that was growing in her chest had, in fact, broken her sternum and spread to her lung and spine.  

Expertise at Guy’s Cancer 

Wendy has been able to access vital expertise for her condition through the Cancer Centre at Guy's, but travelling from Colchester to London to receive treatment was a big effort. 

She says, ‘Thank goodness for my network of friends who have supported me so much through my journey – and to Greater Anglia Trains' staff who have made my travel to hospital hassle-free. They have been amazing.’

An impressive event raises £18,000  

Wendy is a single figure golfer with a wide circle of golfing friends, so she decided to hold a golf day at the Three Rivers Golf and Country Club in Essex to raise funds for research into thymic carcinoma.  

Her close friend, PGA and England coach, Sarah Bennett, helped to arrange the day, which took place on 26 July 2018. Two-time Ladies European Tour winner Joanne Mills flew in from Australia to see her good friend Wendy and support the day.

Over 100 people attended, dressed to impress in purple – Wendy’s favourite colour – as a show of respect for her.  

Other than Wendy there were two guests of honour in attendance – the snooker player, Steve Davis, along with Dr Rohit Lal, consultant oncologist at Guy’s Hospital, one of Wendy's doctors. Steve even managed to sink a hole in one with his snooker cue!       

The event raised just under £18,000 – an incredible amount – which will go towards research into thymic carcinoma led by Dr Lal. 

‘Guy’s and St Thomas‘ and King’s College London need more support to advance research into better treatments for this type of cancer,’ says Wendy.

‘I wanted to raise this money to help scientists trial new personalised immunotherapies to treat thymic tumours at the hospital. The response has been amazing – every donation, however small, helps and is much appreciated.’  

Funding for thymic tumours research   

The research will allow oncology teams to offer potentially life-saving treatments to patients battling this terrible disease. Currently, chemotherapy and surgery are the only options available to treat thymic tumours, and without investment in research, less invasive therapies will continue to be out of reach to patients in the UK.   

You can help Wendy hit her fundraising target of £20,000 here.

Feeling inspired? Why not do your own fundraising?