Photo attached: (from left to right)
Staff nurse Helen Lambert, ward 42 sister Maureen Flatman, chief
executive Sue Jacques, Mr Ian Larnach, ward 32 sister Helen Cowen
and staff nurse Julia Glasper.
A Spennymoor businessman has donated more than
£3,000 to his local hospitals after recovering from bowel
Ian Larnach, the managing director of
Ian Larnach Associates, a company of leading supply chain
consultants in the construction industry, with the help of family
and friends organised a range of charity events in 2012 and is
donating the money raised to Bishop Auckland Hospital and
Darlington Memorial Hospital after receiving treatment at both
hospitals for bowel cancer.
Mr Larnach said: "I was diagnosed with
bowel cancer on 6th September 2011, I'll never forget
that date. I'd just turned 60, my wife and I had been on a cruise
for my birthday, and when we returned home there was a bowel cancer
home screening kit waiting for me. I returned the test in the
middle of August and then my whole world went into a tail spin. I
went to Bishop Auckland for a colonoscopy, received the diagnosis
in early September, and then was admitted to Darlington Memorial
Hospital for an operation on 27th September.
"After two to three weeks recovery I
went straight into a course of chemotherapy at Bishop Auckland
Hospital MARA Unit.
"While I was in hospital, I remember
thinking I'm really being looked after here and decided I wanted to
give something back. I felt like I was being looked after like I
was someone special but realised that was just how everyone was
being looked after.
"It was a horrible time but the staff
were brilliant, not just with me but also with my family. From the
nursing staff to my consultants, Mr Ramalingam and Mr Wadd, they
looked after me so well and also kept my family informed about how
I was doing and what was happening and why.
"I'd expected the wards to be doom and
gloom because of the nature of the condition but the positive and
friendly attitude of staff really helped to give me a lift when I
was feeling down.
"For me, it's not just about giving
something back to the hospitals but I'm also keen to raise
awareness about the importance of doing early checks and seeking
help, men don't tend to talk about illness but it is so important
and as I have proved can make all the difference by catching cancer
in the early stages. I hope sharing my story will help other
"I decided from day one that I wanted
to be positive, my wife and whole family supported me and helped me
stay positive. I also wanted to talk about it with people and found
that by having it out in the open just how common the disease is
and I've met a number of people locally who have also been through
it and we are now friends. It has helped to share the experience.
I'm delighted to have now been given the all clear and feel I've
got my life back now."
Through events including a cabaret
evening at Spennymoor town hall and a golf day at Bishop Auckland
golf club, Mr Larnach raised £3000 to donate in equal amounts to
both ward 42 and ward 32 at Darlington Memorial Hospital as well as
a £3000 donation going to the Mara Unit at Bishop Auckland
Hospital. A smaller amount of £400 was also donated to Newcastle
RVI Children's Cancer Ward.
Sue Jacques, Chief Executive of County
Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: "On behalf of the
Trust, I would like to extend our thanks to Mr Larnach for spending
his valuable time fundraising for us. His generous donations really
will make a difference on the wards and we are very grateful to
him. It is always pleasing to hear about the positive experiences
of our patients and to have the hard work and effort of our staff
Mr Larnach has now set himself the
challenge of raising £5,000 every year to donate to local health
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community