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Golfer honours friend by fulfilling her last wish

12.07.19 Categories: Patient stories,

PGA Fellow Professional and England coach, Sarah Bennett, is honouring a promise to her friend by holding a second golf event on 25th July 2019, to say thank you to Guy’s Cancer for caring for her friend Wendy Lodder, who was a patient at the hospital.

Wendy sadly died of a rare type of chest cancer in 2018 and the money raised by the event will fund research into the condition, thymic carcinoma, which is so rare that there are fewer than 10 cases a year in the UK.

This is the second golf event to raise money for research into the cancer. The first was hosted by Wendy and Sarah in 2018 and 100 people attended, all dressed in Wendy’s favourite colour purple, to show their support.

Alongside Wendy and Sarah, there were three guests of honour at the event – the snooker player, Steve Davis, along with Dr Rohit Lal, consultant oncologist at Guy’s Hospital, one of Wendy's doctors and two-time Ladies European Tour winner Joanne Mills, who flew in from Australia as a surprise.

The event raised £10,000, which will go towards research into thymic cancer, led by researchers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London.

Remembering Wendy

This year’s event will continue the work started by Wendy and Sarah, and give their golfing pals a chance to honour their friend, as Sarah explains:

‘It’s going to be about celebration and reflection this year. We’ve got a trophy, and everyone will still wear purple.’

As well as being honoured by her peers, Wendy’s contribution to golf will be remembered by the next generation of golfers too, as Sarah explains:

‘Wendy was awarded Volunteer Manager of the Year by England Golf in 2017, one of her students has actually qualified for The Open, so will play at Port Rush this month which is unbelievable. She would have been so proud.’  

Sarah intends to make the fundraiser she started with Wendy in 2018 a regular event to help fund vital research.

 ‘I remember when Wendy and I spoke about putting money into research, she told me she didn’t want people to go through what she was going through.’  

Funding for thymic cancer research   

New research will allow oncology teams to offer potentially life-saving treatments to patients with this terrible disease. Currently, surgery, chemotherapy and immunotherapy 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.     

It’s people like Sarah and Wendy that help Guy’s Cancer invest in life changing research. Could you hold a golf day for Guy’s Cancer?  Register your fundraising idea here.