Family and friends of much-missed Daventry man Gary Barton have donated £2,000 to Danetre Hospital’s Cawthorne Ward to honour what would have been his 50th birthday.
The money handed over at a ceremony yesterday (Wednesday) was the latest in a series of donations made by the Gary Barton Memorial Trust, set up after the well-known father of two died of cancer in January 2010.
Gary, aged just 45 at the time of his tragic death, would have celebrated his 50th birthday on Sunday.
One of his daughters, Emily Barton-Lewis, told the Daventry Express: “The money has been raised through events such as people carrying out half marathons, or people who have decided that rather than receiving gifts they would like people to make a donation to the trust.
“There has been a wide variety of fundraising initiatives since the start. It is wonderful that people are prepared to support us and help raise money for the trust.”
Gary was diagnosed with a cancer of unknown primary in February 2009 and, despite several tests and treatment, it was labelled as incurable in October the same year.
He was treated at both the Talbot Butler Ward at Northampton General Hospital and the Cawthorne Ward at Danetre Hospital.
The trust was set up to help raise funds for both wards and since its formation in 2010 a total of £11,911.85 has been donated to Talbot Butler Ward at Northampton General Hospital and £11,000 handed over to the Cawthorne Ward – donations which have helped provide several pieces of essential equipment.
Earlier this year the charity donated £3,725 to Talbot Butler Ward for the purchase of an Accuvein AV300, a tool that helps locate the veins ahead of inserting a cannula for chemotherapy. The money from the latest donation has been earmarked for an ultra low mechanical bed which can provide help to patients getting in and out of bed.
The ward sister at Cawthorne, Patsy Hatfield, said: “Having this money makes a huge difference. It is amazing that we have had so much money from the trust in the past four years. The money raised is normally given to the Friends of Danetre Hospital and, from there, we can use the funds to buy any equipment that we might need.
“However, this money has been earmarked for this bed and that will be specifically for this ward. It will make a big difference to the patients here.”
The Gary Barton Memorial Trust also aims to preserve and protect the health of patients and advance the education of the general public to be aware of cancer.
Emily added: “The support that we had from the Cawthorne Ward at a time when dad really needed it was hugely important.
“They understood all of the needs that we had as a family.
“It meant we all got to see him as well during the final 48 hours after he was transferred from the Talbot Butler ward.
“One of the most important things that it also did do was keep him local.
“That was so important to dad and is so important to other families in the local area who, otherwise, would have had to go to Northampton or Rugby to see their loved ones.”
Key fundraising events that have taken place over the past four years include a summer ball organised by Belle Femme in the town and a number of charity football matches, which have included some famous sporting stars and television personalities.
Another football match is to be organised in Northampton for later this year.
Emily added: “I think that if dad is looking down on us, he would be amazed at everything we have managed to achieve. He would be thrilled that there are so many people prepared to help out in his memory.”
The treasurer of the trust, Mary Bevan, added: “It was one of Gary’s wishes before he died that he wanted the work of the teams at Danetre Hospital and Northampton General Hospital to be recognised and I think that gives us the strength to carry on fundraising and remember Gary at the same time.”
One of the next fundraising nights will be an Elvis tribute night, organised by a family friend for Friday, November 7.
The trust is seeking raffle prizes for the night and anyone who can help is asked to get in touch with the trust. They can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about the trust and future fundraising events visit www.garybarton.org/