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Sue’s Story

When primary school project coordinator Sue Manley returned to work in June 2023 after many months of cancer treatment, she visited each class to explain to the children why she had no hair.

Sue has worked at Orchard Vale Community School in Barnstaple since it opened in 1999 and was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in November 2022.

She has undergone chemotherapy at North Devon District Hospital, following a hysterectomy and radiotherapy at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Pupils decided to welcome Sue back and normalise her hair loss by holding a ‘Crazy Hair Day’ in aid of the Fern Centre, which is supporting Sue.

Sue Manley visits the Fern Centre with pupils from Orchard Vale Community School
Sue Manley visits the Fern Centre with pupils from Orchard Vale Community School

In July, Sue visited the Fern Centre with some of the staff and pupils to present a cheque for £1,243.70. Pupils were given a tour of the cancer and wellbeing centre and told more about how the centre is supporting Sue.

Kate Constable, community fundraiser for Royal Devon Hospital Charity, said: “It was wonderful to hear about how the staff and pupils at Orchard Vale have been supporting Sue, and very special to be able to welcome them to the Fern Centre to learn more about how it supports cancer patients and their families in North Devon.  

“The money the school has raised will help ensure the centre can continue to offer a whole range of free information, complementary therapies, counselling and support for local people at the time they need it most.” 

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