A ballroom dancer who is battling an aggressive blood cancer has donated £2,000 to Salford Royal’s haematology unit after inspiring his friends to take on a 14-hour walk to the world famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
Lewis Peacock was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in June last year, aged just 26. For several months he was treated by staff at the haematology unit at Salford Royal – part of the Northern Care Alliance (NCA) NHS Group. During his last appointment before being transferred to Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI), Lewis presented staff with a cheque for £2,000. The money will go towards buying a new electrocardiogram (ECG) machine for the unit.
Lewis, of Lowton, has taken part in many dance competitions at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom over the years, so his friends Kyle Thompson-Ford, Conor Booth, Gary Swanson and Stephen Jones felt it fitting to take part in a sponsored walk from Wigan to the seaside resort.
The four friends completed the 36-mile trek in 14-and-a-half hours in August, while wearing special ‘Walk for Lewis’ t-shirts. The walk took place in between the relaxation of lockdown measures in England due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kyle, 27, of Warrington, set up a JustGiving page so family and friends could donate online. He said: “We were shocked and upset by the news and the fact we were unable to see Lewis due to Covid-19 made it worse.
“We wanted to show our support to Lewis and raise as much money as we could, so thought a long walk would help us do that. We chose Blackpool because it was one of the closest locations that Lewis goes to each year to participate in his ballroom dancing, which he has been doing from a young age and has collected many awards.
“We have managed to see Lewis twice since his diagnosis because of his on-going treatment, but we're praying to see him soon. He keeps us up to date as much as he can so we know how he's doing.”
Lewis has recently undergone a stem cell transplant at the MRI as part of his ongoing treatment.
His donation has been allocated to the Haematology Development Fund at Salford Royal, which is overseen by NorthCare Charity. The charity brings together fundraising across the NCA in Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Salford.
Haematology matron Nicola Hogg said: “We are really grateful for this kind donation from Lewis and his friends. It’s lovely that they were inspired by Lewis and wanted to support our ward. The money will go towards an ECG machine to help us provide even better care for future patients.”