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Tim & Felicity's Charity: 35 Yrs

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Tim and Felicity Hilder_cropped
Anna and family at LA Bridge Walk 2019

Many long term residents of Haddenham will remember Tim & Felicty Hilder with great fondness. The Blood cancer charity they created celebrates its 35th anniversary on 12th June this year.

Lymphoma is the UK's fifth most common cancer and the charity they founded exists to support people affected by the condition.

Along with Tim Hilder, fellow patients Lewis Cash and Richard Franklin were frustrated that they could not find any information or support after receiving a diagnosis of lymphoma themselves, so they decidied to do something about it.

Between them, they formed a small support group to share their experiences, and in 1986 they became officially recognised as the Hodgkin's Disease Association, now known as Lymphoma Action. This was a key moment in the Charity's history as it was then, and still remains, the only UK charity dedicated to lymphoma.

"Lymphoma Action is a charity that is very close to my heart" says Anna Gadsden, daughter of Tim and Felicity Hilder. "By the time the Hodgkin's Disease Association was born, the group had grown to include Lewis and Jackie Cash, a young Hodgkin lymphoma patient called George Ball and my mum and dad. They found a treasurer and dad's consultant Dr Tony Jelliffe was the President. In addition, Dr Gillian Vaughan Hudson became their medical advisor."

"They worked out what the purpose of the Association would be; giving information and support to people with lymphoma in an understandable way. Back then, the only books on the subject were medical texts" she continues.

"They decided to create two small booklets, which they wanted to be easy to understand and provide general advice and support. An answerphone was bought to take calls from patients, which was manned in the evening from 7-10pm in our home. Dad and mum got a whole range of local people involved on an answerphone rota to ensure that patients could contact someone if my parents were away or busy."

"I am so proud of what my parents achieved" she adds. "They put so much into the Charity and would always go the extra mile, something the staff at Lymphoma Action still do. The fundamentals of what my parents started are still very evident — the information, the Helpline services, the newsletter which is now a magazine, and it is still offering the same support and information to people. I really enjoy hearing about how the Charity is developing. My parents wanted to support people affected by lymphoma and it is with pride that I watch Lymphoma Action offer more and more ways of doing this."

"We are proud to have been making a difference for 35 years" adds Ropinder Gill, Chief Executive at Lymphoma Action. "Over the years, Lymphoma Action has helped thousands of people affected by this type of blood cancer by providing trusted information and support. We are grateful to all of our supporters who have helped us along the way in making sure that no one has to face lymphoma alone."

Lymphoma Action are inviting everyone to join them in celebrating their 35 year anniversary, and there are lots of ways to get involved! The Charity has some special fundraising events coming up including a 35 year Anniversary Tea Party and their popular Bridges of Britain event.

Lymphoma Action have also secured 35 places in the 2021 Virtual London Marathon on the 3 October and welcome anyone who wishes to join #TeamLymphoma.

For further details please visit lymphoma-action.org.uk/about-us/celebrating-35-years