Kimberley cancer support centre set for launch

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The Ryan Lee Trust support centre for kids is set to open it’s doors.

The drop-in centre on Main Street, Kimberley, offers children living with cancer a safe place to play while adults can talk over coffee.

Over four years in the making, it provides a much-needed space for families who deal with cancer to connect.

Trustee Deb Lee, who lost her son Ryan to cancer in 2010, said she is glad to finally be opening the centre to users.

She said: “We’ve been through hell to get here but we are finally ready to open up.”

Ryan Lee Trust will launch on Saturday, March 7 providing a warm and colourful environment with jungle murals, specialist equipment to aid children in activities and a wealth of books, games and toys.

Deb knows how important a centre like this can be for parents and children.

She added: “When we came out of hospital we felt so alone - you don’t want to be in your own home and we wished we had a place like this where you can be with others who understand you.”

Deb is to begin working with Queens Medical Centre to ensure families are referred to the centre.

“We’ve had people telling us they’ve heard nothing about us - we need people to know we are here - every family who could use our support needs to know about us.”

David Walker, Professor of Paediatric Oncology at the university of Nottingham treated Ryan, and he commended the trust for it’s ongoing work.

He said: “The Lee family have been absolutely relentless in their efforts to help people.

“The loss of Ryan was a tragedy of course. He was such a sweet teenager.

“But the way the Lees have been through it, and gone about providing essential equipment to help children and their families be more comfortable has been phenomenal.”

The centre is now set to open on March 7, and Deb says numerous families are waiting intently.

She added: “Unfortunately we are losing people all the time so it’s crucial we open as soon as we can.”