When Jennifer Kelly discovered a lump in her breast, she was gripped with shock and fear and can still vividly remember the turmoil of sitting in hospital waiting for test results.
So when the lump turned out to be benign, Jennifer and husband Bernard were so overjoyed, they wanted to do something to help Lancashire Teaching Hospitals trust, which runs the Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals, to thank doctors and nurses for their care and professionalism.
The couple, who live in Thornley, Longridge, have made a massive donation of £100,000 to the Central Lancashire Breast Unit which the hospital trust is using to fund an extra ultrasound scanner to help them with diagnosing patients.
The couple, who have three children and seven grandchildren between them, initially wanted to remain anonymous, but have spoken out about the donation in praise of the work carried out by hospital staff.
Jennifer said: “It was two years ago when I found the lump and it was a huge shock and we feared the worst.
“It was such a relief when it turned out to be benign, but I can still remember the anxiety of waiting for the results and sitting in the waiting room with women of all ages who were going through the same experience.
“Luckily for me, everything turned out well, but we wanted to do something to help those who had less favourable results.
“We spoke to my consultant who explained the plans for the new breast care unit and how it would reduce the time women would have to wait for their test results.”
Bernard, 74, used to own Benson’s Bed Centres building up the firm from eight stores to 430.
Bernard said: “We were pleased to be able to make a donation to support the development of the new unit and we were in the fortunate position of being able to write a cheque straight away.
“I take my hat off to the people who work tirelessly to raise money for breast cancer charities by running races, holding coffee mornings and doing all sorts of other activities in their spare time.
“All we did was write a cheque and the real thanks should go to all the people who make strenuous efforts to support such causes.
“I feel humbled by them and I hope our donation will go some way towards helping others in their time of need.”
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals invested around £900,000 into the development of the Central Lancashire Breast Unit, which is based at Chorley and South Ribble hospital and opened in August this year.
The unit provides a full range of diagnostic procedures for patients from across Lancashire and South Cumbria during one appointment.
Many patients will get their test results back on the same day.
The unit will provide services for around 3,500 new patients and 3,000 follow-up patients a year.
Sara Scott, consultant breast care nurse at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “Bernard and Jennifer’s generous donation will enable us to invest in an additional ultra sound scanner machine for the breast care unit which will be used to diagnose and plan treatment for patients.
“We were pleased to also be able to invest in pictures and furniture for the counselling room and prosthesis fitting room which we know will reduce anxiety for patients by helping us to provide a welcoming and relaxing environment.”
Karen Partington, hospital chief executive, said: “The Central Lancashire Breast Care Unit provides an essential service for thousands of patients across the region. The team at the breast care unit is dedicated to delivering excellent care with compassion for every patient and I would like to thank Mr and Mrs Kelly for their generous donation to support this work.”