PCSO launches campaign to help other cancer patients during her own fight for life

A popular Skegness PCSO with a big heart has launched a campaign from her hospital bed to help other cancer patients as she undergoes her own fight for life.

PCSO Michelle Collins is undergoing gruelling chemotherapy for cancer - but is still helping others by launching a campaign for patients in her ward.
PCSO Michelle Collins is undergoing gruelling chemotherapy for cancer - but is still helping others by launching a campaign for patients in her ward.

Michelle Collins will not be on the beat in Skegness this week as Lincolnshire Police launches their promotion of the work of the county's Neighbourhood police officers.

She is recovering in between gruelling courses of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with lymphoma cancer in October.

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For the past few weeks she has endured continuous days of 24-hour IV therapy on the former Bostonian ward at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, unable to have visitors, watch television or even listen to the radio to help the time pass by.

PCSO Michelle Collins is well-known for her work in Skegness.

However, in spite of feeling "very poorly" she has not stopped thinking of others - and is raising money for items for the hospital ward that will help make patients' treatment more comfortable.

Along with her partner John Blake - a local firefighter with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue - they have launched a JustGiving page - We're raising £500 to help raise funds for the cancer ward at Boston Pilgrim Hospital to provide TVs, radios and a few home comforts for patients.

Already more than £240 have been raised and John says they are both blown away by the support.

"We want to thank everyone for their support which means so much to us," said John.

Michelle - who is fondly known as the "pocket rocket" because of her petite frame, at just 4ft 11ins tall and the number of local causes she is involved in - has just finished her fifth cycle of continuous IV chemotherapy.

"Treatment is gruelling and she has to spend long hours on her own," said John

"She is on the former Bostonian ward and is unable to have visitors during her treatment.

"The ward has been stripped of TVs and there are no radios or anything to help the time go by and take patients' minds off the treatment.

"To help with the sickness, medical staff are also funding a snacks trolley themselves so patients can eat during the night.

"Michelle wanted to do something about this so we launched a fund to buy soft snuggle blankets to help keep patients warm as well as TVs, radios and snacks.

"We've been overwhelmed by the support we have received .

"There are so many things we want to do to help patients."

Michelle, who is an RNLI volunteer as well as a PCSO, also wants to spread the word that if anyone has any concerns about their health, they should fight for the treatment they need.

It was shortly after she launched the Mutual Gain Jolly's World Cafe in Skegness in September - which helps local groups make a difference in their communities - that she became concerned about her health.

"Michelle had had a cough for about 13 weeks and a colleague told her she ought to go and get it checked out at the doctor's," explained John. "She told the doctor she knew her body and there was something wrong and she was referred to Louth Hospital for an x-ray as her breathing was getting worse.

"She was so bad the consultant immediately put her on an emergency course of chemotherapy and from there they worked out the plan.

"It's been so intense but we have just one more course to go before Michelle can finally ring that bell in the ward and come home to start her recovery."

To make a donation to Michelle's appeal visit JustGiving here.