16th April 2015

Hildas lung cancer story

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Hilda volunteers at one of our high street shops

“I’m a volunteer. I used to work in a school for disabled children. I’ve been married for 47 years, and I have two children – a boy and a girl – and six grandchildren.

I started volunteering for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation nine years ago, and I enjoy every aspect of it. I love talking to people – and I like the clothes you can buy!”

In 2000, Hilda had treatment for another form of cancer and recovered well, before being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002. She described her experience from that point:

“The first doctor said they wouldn’t operate, and it was only going to be palliative care. But we said, ‘Is there any other chance?’ So she sent me to Bristol, because I lived in Cheltenham then (Bristol was the nearest major lung cancer centre).

A wonderful man, Mr Forestwood, did an [exploratory] operation on my neck to find out if he could [attempt curative surgery] because it was so close to the artery. Anyway, he said, ‘Yes’, and he operated – removed my right lung – and that was 14 years ago.

Symptoms, diagnosis and advice

“[I had] a cough. Only a cough, because I was pretty fit. I used to walk everywhere, so really, only a cough. But the doctor, with me having had cancer before, obviously was suspicious. He sent me off for a scan and that’s when they found it [the lung cancer].

[If you notice symptoms] go straight to your doctor, because the sooner you catch it, the better it is for you. And don’t give up, that’s the main thing. Do not give up!


“Well, I would recommend volunteering for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation because it’s such good fun, plus you’re doing such a wonderful thing”.

If you would like to find our more about how you can volunteer for us visit: roycastle.org/volunteer