Pub couple host fundraiser for regular recovering from cancer

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A mother has thanked two publicans who raised money for the hospital which has become her son’s home while he recovers from cancer.

Ben Bland, 23, from Worth, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in November 2012.

He had a bone marrow transplant on August 8 and is currently in isolation at Royal Marsden Hospital.

Ben was a regular at Frogshole Farm Pub, in Maidenbower, before his diagnosis.

Mark and Tania Davies, who run the pub, offered to help his recovery by holding a quiz night on August 5, which raised £783.56 for the hospital.

Ben’s mother Catherine said she was touched by the couple’s donation which has been used to fully furnish the roof garden in the hospital’s Teenage Cancer Trust Unit.

She said the provision has brought comfort to many people going through chemotherapy at the hospital.

She said: “Ben and his friends regularly attended the quiz nights at Frogshole Farm and when we asked about a possible fund raising night Mark and Tania didn’t hesitate and organised everything they have been truly magnificent and very supportive.”

Catherine has moved into the hospital with Ben and seen how important it is for people to connect with the outdoors. She said: “When the young people have chemotherapy they become neutropenic which means they no longer have an immune system so cannot leave the ward and if, like Ben, are on the ward for a long time they just want to get fresh air.

“Thanks to Mark and Tania we achieved our goal and more, the roof garden is fully furnished with £100 left over which we have given to the unit to use for outings, games, dvds and other things.”

Tania said she was glad to hold the special Monday quiz night in aid of a regular at the pub.

She said: “We had a full pub taking part in the quiz and had a raffle with donated prizes.

“We will continue to have collection tins for Royal Marsden Hospital on our bar and we will be visiting the unit in the near furniture to see Ben and the new garden furniture.”