Cancer patient to open new town centre store
PUBLISHED: 15:22 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:31 15 January 2020
A new shop is to open in Lowestoft's town centre this month, with a brave cancer fighter among the special guests cutting the ribbon.
Cancer Research UK will be opening their new store on London Road North on Wednesday, January 22 at 10.30am.
Former printer Chris Ryder, from Lowestoft, is currently undegoing chemotherapy at the James Paget Hospital and is set to take a break from his treatment to open the store.
The 46-year-old was diagnosed with leukaemia just 10 weeks ago after becoming breathless and lightheaded.
The father-of-four said: "My GP didn't know what it was, but she sent me straight to the James Paget where they ran some blood tests and took a bone marrow sample."
Just days later, Mr Ryder found out he had acute myeloid leukaemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
He was immediately given an intense form of chemotherapy and is now awaiting results from a new bone marrow sample to see if he requires further treatment.
He said: "When I was diagnosed with leukaemia it scared me, but the doctors are all very positive and hopefully I can get through this.
"When you hear the word cancer, your world turns upside down, but if I can help one person and allay any fears they may have, then I've done something worthwhile.
"I'm really pleased to have been asked to open this lovely new shop. It will be a great addition to the town, especially for shoppers who love a bargain.
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"Shops like this one provide vital revenue for Cancer Research UK and help fund the charity's ground-breaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This research has helped save millions of lives and it's vital that it continues to help thousands of people like me who have been struck down by this dreadful disease."
Mr Ryder will be joined by Lord Hugh Somerleyton and Lady Lara Somerleyton as they mark the opening by working behind the tills.
Lord Somerleyton, who lost his mother Lady Belinda Somerleyton to cancer in 2018, said: "Lara and I are honoured to have been asked to open this new Cancer Research UK shop in Lowestoft.
"Cancer affects everyone at some point in their lives so it is vital to raise money and awareness to fight this dreadful disease and support Cancer Research UK.
"I wish every success in achieving these aims to all the staff who will be working here."
The majority of items in the store will be priced at under £3.
Julie Byard, director of trading at Cancer Research UK, said: "Our shops up and down the country continue to prove a real hit with customers and we are really proud to be adding Lowestoft to the collection.
"I hope that people come and join us as we celebrate the opening of our London Road North store - and take the opportunity to grab a bargain while they are there. Shopping with us funds lifesaving research so it's retail therapy that will help us beat cancer."
The store will be open seven days a week, from 9am until 5.30pm Monday to Saturday, and 10.30am until 4.30pm on Sundays.
Volunteers are being sought, and anyone interested is urged to visit the store and speak to the manager Vicky Wilson.
She said: "We're asking people to help stock our new shop by clearing out their wardrobes and cupboards over the next few months and bringing us their good-quality items that they no longer need or find to bring joy.
"Each bag of items donated to a Cancer Research UK shop can raise as much as £25 and even more if our supporters sign up for Gift Aid."