A Nottingham woman has turned her own experience of breast cancer into something positive to help others by launching her own puzzle magazine – the ‘Barrowby Bamboozler’- for patients, supporting vital research and promoting businesses into the bargain.
Deborah distributes 1,000 free copies of the Barrowby Bamboozler around Nottingham’s hospitals five times a year and donates 20% of the proceeds to Nottingham Hospital Charity’s Breast Cancer Research fund.
First diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, Deborah came up with the idea while still in hospital after her operation. She invites businesses to sponsor a page in the magazine for £30 in return for which she designs bespoke puzzles featuring the sponsor company.
Deborah says: “I was still attached to a drain when I had a Eureka moment and came up with the idea of a magazine that was fun and interactive which also supported businesses. Doing an interactive puzzle specifically about the business featured is more memorable to readers than glancing over a standard advert.
“People spend a lot of time in hospital sitting around in waiting areas and the magazine keeps them entertained and gives them something to do while waiting. They can also win prizes donated by the companies. I know how hard it is waiting around whilst having treatment or waiting for life-changing results. If I can help take people’s minds off what’s going on then that’s fantastic and I have achieved my goal.”
In 2016 Deborah was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in her liver and bones and immediately put back into chemotherapy. She is now on a targeted treatment and is currently in remission with no signs of cancer.
Deborah says: “Prof Chan and my nurses are keeping me alive with the latest drugs which are created through research. I wanted to support Prof Chan’s work by donating a share of my profits to his breast cancer research. If it wasn’t for this amazing treatment I wouldn’t still be here.”
Professor Stephen Chan says: “The purpose of our research is to identify the best treatments for patients according to their tumour’s response to a particular treatment. This means we can tailor our approach to individual patients and help them to avoid unpleasant side effects wherever possible.
“We are very grateful to Deborah for her continued support. What Deborah is doing is inspired as it not only helps fund our vital research, it also helps turn patients’ waiting time into a more positive experience.”
Nick Lawford, Fundraising Manager at Nottingham Hospitals Charity, says: ‘We are very grateful to Deborah for her fun and innovative activities which raise regular funds for Nottingham Hospitals Charity. The Barrowby Bamboozler is such an inspired fundraising idea which helps patients, raises funds for vital research and promotes local businesses – it’s win, win, win!”