Kimberley’s cancer support centre opens to families

After a long wait the Ryan Lee Trust family support centre opened its doors this weekend.

Friends and supporters of the charity gathered to see the ribbon cutting and be invited in to see the centre for the first time on Saturday, March 7.

Trustees of the Ryan Lee Trust who opened the family support centre on Saturday morning, are from left, Shaun Lee, as his son's favourite character, SpongeBob, founder Deb Lee and Muriel Dewar.

Trustees of the Ryan Lee Trust who opened the family support centre on Saturday morning, are from left, Shaun Lee, as his son's favourite character, SpongeBob, founder Deb Lee and Muriel Dewar.

Trustee of the centre in main Street, Kimberley siad she was so pleased to finally open after a challenging few years to see the centre for cancer patients and their families to be realised.

She added: “It was wonderful - people’s faces when they walked in, I dont think they could quite believe the place.

“We’ve tried to make this a very positive place and a lot of people were very surprised.

“It’ll be extremely improtant to people. People feel very isolated when they’re outside of hospital.

They can get together with otther families and use all the specialised equipment here which is unfortauntely very expensive, adn that’s why we need contineud support.

“Without lots and lots of people’s support we wouldn’t be here in the first place and I thanke verybody for that.”

The ribbon was cut by 14-year-old Katy Kavaliunas, one of the the users of the centre.

Her mum Veronica said the family were waiting a long time for the centre to open.

She added; “It’s going to be really nice – somewhere Katy can come and relax, and do her physio, It’s a really nice environment and great for all age groups. Deb’s thought of everything.”

Ryan Lee Trust provides a place for family’s to connect, with toys games and special therapuetic equipment for children.

Over 20 people supported the centre for the big moment and Deb estimates that over 100 people visited throughout the day.

Many offered donations and a special visit was made by none other than SpongeBob SquarePants.

He said: “It’s been fantastic to see so many people come to support the charity.”

Angela Sheldon, supervisor and charity co-ordinator of Sainsbury’s Kimberly said the company supportedthe Trust as part of it’s community fund.

She added: “When you look at what they are doing for people, it’s an amazing charity. The families who come here have got aplace they can go to just be themselves.”

Representing another supporter, Capital One, Simon MIller, said the Trust was it’s charity of the year three eyars ago.

He added: “Deb really wants to make a difference. After struggling with Ryan, being able to set this up is so wonderful, and we want to try and help when we can.”