“As requested by the Masonic Samaritan Fund this is my story as to the help given to me by the fund. In early 2013 I was diagnosed with bowel cancer and, after chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, I had an operation at Darenth Valley Hospital on 2nd October 2013 under the care of Mr M Watson. After a few days in the ward I developed some complications and spent ten days in the intensive care unit. I was discharged on 10th November 2013 but, as I could not manage the stairs for washing etc, my family put a bed downstairs for my use.

I had to go back into hospital for two further stays for more treatment and during this time some members of my lodge: Derek Greenwood (Almoner) and Jason Cameron-Potter, met with my wife and two sons (one of whom is also a member of my lodge). Together they agreed that I would need a stairlift when I returned home. With some further advice from Reg Walter, they made an application to the Masonic Samaritan Fund for a grant to fund a stairlift which was approved within a few days. A local company was contacted and the whole project was completed before my discharge on 22nd December 2013.

I would like to thank all my friends and family for all they have done for me over this very long period but my special thanks must go to the Masonic Samaritan Fund for their help.

I would just add that I am now clear of the cancer due to the care I was given both at Darenth and Maidstone Hospitals and the skill of Mr Watson, Dr Amanda Clarke and all the staff who looked after me. I hope this will help to promote the work of the fund and I’m sorry not to be able to supply a photo as you requested.”

Signed by James Martin, Gravesend

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