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New prostate cancer diagnostic service at Exmouth thanks to Geoff’s fundraising mission

Patients in East Devon can now benefit from better access to diagnostic facilities for prostate cancer at Exmouth Community Hospital thanks to a fundraising mission of one man. 


Sixty-five year old Geoff Fidler, from Exeter, has raised almost £47,000 for the Urology Team from the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust to part-fund the purchase of an ultrasound scanner used to diagnose prostate cancer. The additional cost of the £100k scanner was funded thanks to a donation from Devon charity the Chestnut appeal. 


Geoff, a retired Area Operations Manager for Great Western Railway, began his fundraising campaign in December 2014 after being treated for prostate cancer. During a regular check-up, Geoff told Consultant Malcolm Crundwell that he wanted to raise money to help support the work of the service, setting himself a challenging target of £20,000.


Starting with a Christmas card fund with his work colleagues, Geoff soon progressed onto organising other charity events with the help of special colleagues, including sponsored football and golf tournaments, coffee mornings, a car rally from Dawlish to Prague, raffles, bag packing, an auction, and through the support of Great Western Railways even arranged a special train journey from Paddington to Buckfastleigh. 


Thanks to the generosity of friends, family, colleagues and local businesses, Geoff smashed his original target raising an incredible £46,980 in total.  


“We’re just staggered by the generosity of all those people” said wife Anne. “All of Geoff’s team at Great Western were just mind-blowing, and the support from my colleagues from Bradley’s in Exmouth was just incredible.” 


Geoff’s donation will enable local people to undergo the diagnostic procedure at Exmouth Community Hospital rather than having to travel further afield to Exeter and will reduce the amount of time they have to wait for the test. 


Malcolm Crundwell, Consultant Urologist and Clinical Lead for Urology, explained: “The Urology Department are extremely grateful to Geoff Fidler and to the Chestnut Appeal for their fundraising, which has allowed us to set up a new service in Exmouth Hospital for prostate biopsy using state of the art equipment. We can now offer men in this area the most up-to-date diagnostic techniques for prostate cancer. This links in perfectly with our existing equipment and expertise for prostate cancer treatment, including robotically assisted surgery and brachytherapy, both also funded, at least in part, by charitable contributions, including from the Chestnut Appeal and FORCE. 


“Men in Exeter, East Devon and surrounding areas now have access to the most up to date diagnostic and treatment facilities for prostate cancer in the UK. None of this would be possible without the support of charitable contributions and the tireless work of men like Geoff.”

Geoff recently visited Exmouth Hospital to take a look at the new piece of equipment before it began its first surgical list. 


He said: “I’m just completely overwhelmed by it. Because I’ve been through it myself, it’s amazing to think that this piece of equipment is so much more accurate and much less intrusive, so it will make the experience so much better for other patients. We lived in Exmouth ourselves for a few years and are very fond of it, so the fact that our donation has been used to enable East Devon to have a service like this has touched us both.”  


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