I have been privileged to work with a lot of employees over the years. Sometimes they have a great new job and want me to check out their employment contract, but more often than not they are going through a difficult point in their lives, perhaps facing redundancy or raising a grievance about stressful working conditions. Lawyers need to provide clear commercial advice but always be sensitive to everything else going on in their client's lives and tailor their advice accordingly.
I can't pretend to remember all the clients I've advised over the years, but some do stick in your mind and you find yourself wondering how they are getting on. One such client is Hannah Oldfield. Hannah came to me when she was off work and going through gruelling treatment for a rare and aggressive form of stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to her ovaries and peritoneum. The majority of her time was spent attending medical appointments and receiving chemotherapy and yet she remained determined and focused.
About 6 months after she instructed me she told me that her most recent round of surgery, coupled with chemotherapy, had been successful and that scans showed no sign of the cancer being present in the body. It was such good news and I really hoped that Hannah would be able to regain her physical and mental strength and put the last few years behind her. It was therefore a great shock to find out that the cancer had returned and that the immunotherapy treatment she was receiving at the Royal Marsden Hospital could only slow the spread of the cancer, but not cure it.
Fortunately that's not the end of the story. Under recommendation from a leading British expert in immunology, Hannah has travelled to Frankfurt Northwest hospital for pioneering immunotherapy treatment. This involves personalising treatment uniquely to Hannah and the particular cancer she is battling by training her immune cells to specifically target those cancer cells in her body. There is genuine belief at the Frankfurt that, using this technique, they may be able to cure Hannah’s cancer.
Unfortunately though, whilst the NHS has done amazing things for Hannah, it cannot provide this particular treatment. Hannah therefore needs to raise funds in order to go forward with the treatment which may save her life. The target amount is £100,000 and the family have set up a fundraising page to try and achieve this.
We all have things going on in our lives and you will have specific causes you support, but I just ask that you give Hannah’s page a quick look.
Hannah is an incredible person who has devoted her life to serving people within the NHS. Her joy of life, her love for others, her generosity and gentleness of spirit, her hope for the future, remain undimmed. Now she needs our help!