Meet the members
As a result of my late wife’s illness, and her consequent care in oncology and a cancer ward at Southampton General Hospital, I felt I should contribute, if possible, to some of the exceptional work being done at the hospital. On retirement I applied to voluntary services, expressing a wish to join the team at the Macmillan cancer information centre where my family and I had been warmly welcomed on many occasions. As there were no immediate vacancies I had a period of time in the eye unit before becoming a member of the Macmillan team, which has led on to my involvement in the work of the cancer patient and carer group.
I was diagnosed with locally advanced prostate cancer in March 2008. Seven and a half weeks of radiotherapy followed and I am still having three-monthly injections. I was asked to join the cancer patient and carer group at the end of 2008 and I have found it a very interesting and stimulating experience. I have learned a lot about the working of Southampton General Hospital and the NHS generally in the enjoyable company of the other members of the group. The commitment is not onerous and I hope I have been able to contribute a little to improving cancer care in Southampton.
Following 15 years with the Royal Air Force I joined, what was then, the Independent Broadcasting Authority as a broadcast engineer. Working within its successor organisations, and through various career moves, the latter years found me being closely involved with the introduction of media access services (subtitling, signing and audio description on television).
Following retirement in 2002 I continued as a consultant working for charities, a media access company, the EC and the Irish Government. In 2003 I was awarded the MBE for services to disabled people and broadcasting. In 2009 my dear wife Norma, also a member of the Group, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and I took on the role of carer; she is now in remission. Late last year cancer visited us again with me being diagnosed with prostate cancer – currently I await decisions whether I can be a candidate for a prostatectomy.
Just over a year ago, along with Norma my wife, I decided to join the cancer patient and carer group.
I am 67 years of age and married to Gerry Stallard, also a member of the group, and have one son. Born in Plymouth I have had a varied career path: a personal secretary in NHS, accounts administrator, transport coordinator, and personal assistant.
I have lived in Hampshire since 1980 and soon after arriving I began working within human resources at the University of Southampton. In the latter years of my career I became responsible for staff records and statistics, and in 2002 I retired from this post.
On retirement I assisted my husband with various tasks on his media access services company. I also decided to undertake some voluntary work for the Eastleigh Community Centre visiting elderly people for informal chats. I thoroughly enjoyed these times.
In September 2009 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and after having a hysterectomy at Salisbury Hospital and a course of chemotherapy at Southampton General, I was given the “all clear” in January 2010. I received excellent care at both hospitals.
Just over a year ago, along with my husband Gerry I decided to join the cancer patient and carer group.