Our Family Service on Sunday 12th October
was the second of our 'Charity' events this year. In April our focus was on the international charity 'Toilet Twinning'
but this month we focused on a local charity - 'Cobalt' in Cheltenham, with a guest speaker from there - Jen Millar. (Return to top).
Jen explained that the were originally set-up by a doctor who realised the benefits of
scanning to see inside a person to detect cancer as opposed to the then need to 'cut you open' to make an investigation. They were setup as 'The Cobalt Unit' but now are a charity called just 'Cobalt'. They have a range of scanners including CT and MRI which are used to detect many different types of cancer and serve the three counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The equipment is large so they had to fund the construction of a building to house it. Today their mobile scanners in lorries, go out to other local hospitals too that don't have the equipment. (Return to top).
Regrettable the equipment is constantly evolving and is expensive, beyond the day-to-day means
of the NHS budget, so it's manned by volunteers like her and funded through charity donations. Patients take a mildly radioactive sugar solution which is absorbed more by 'active' cells like cancer, so shows up as a bright spot on their scanner. More recently its been realised that the brain of people suffering from Alzheimer's and Dementia has dead areas which don't absorbed the sugar (as they're dead!) so the same principal can be used in reverse with dark areas showing dead parts of the brain. More and more therefore they're getting involved in research into those two diseases. (Return to top).
Our collection among the congregation present would be augmented by a donation from the Church Council budget and sent to he charity to support their anniversary fund raising, which has already bought an up-to-date scanner but needs more funds to support it's effective operation - a total of £1.5 million. (Return to top).