Radiographers brave the shave for colleague going through cancer treatment

Posted 29th October 2020

Two radiographers, who treat cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy, have shaved their heads in support of a colleague who herself is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for leukaemia.

Martin Woods, 54, from Bootle and Emma McBain, 50, from Southport are both Therapeutic Radiographers at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Aintree, one of the specialist cancer trust’s radiotherapy treatment centres. The pair braved the shave in front of a socially distant crowd of colleagues in support of fellow radiographer, Nicolle Bullock, 26 who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in July.

Martin, who has worked for The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust for 14 years, said: “We work in radiotherapy and give our best every day to support our patients through their treatment. We know the shock and devastation that a cancer diagnosis can have on a person and their family. So when Nicolle was diagnosed with ALL we were all determined to give her our support and love to get her through her treatment.

“We’re a really supportive bunch here at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. The same compassion and care that we try to give to our patients, we also give to each other. Nicolle’s diagnosis has been devastating for the entire team so we wanted to show her that we’ll be with her all the way.”

Emma added: “We’ve worked with Nicolle for a long time and this is the least we can do to show her how much we care about her. Due to COVID-19, Nicolle has gone through her diagnosis and treatment without her family and friends beside her, as they ordinarily would have been. So when Martin suggested shaving our heads to show our support, I didn’t hesitate!”

Nicolle has been receiving treatment for ALL at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool, a new dedicated cancer hospital which opened in the city centre in June. She has spent several weeks as an inpatient in its specialist blood cancer unit. Nicolle is currently undergoing the remission induction phase of her treatment, involving chemotherapy and numerous blood transfusions. She was able to watch her colleague’s shave their heads via video link from one of her hospital appointments.

Nicolle, from Kensington, said: “My colleagues are the best! During my time in hospital, they put a big cross on the pavement with tape, so everyone knew where to stand so they could come along and wave to me in my room on the seventh floor! I’m really grateful for their support and can’t wait to join them back at work soon.”

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust currently treats around 30,000 patients every year with none-surgical cancer treatments including radiotherapy and chemotherapy from its sites in Aintree, Liverpool city centre and Wirral.

Louise Corcoran, Service Delivery Lead for Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Aintree, added: “I’m really proud of the team for the support they have shown to Nicolle.

Martin, Emma and the rest of the team here understand better than most the impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on a person. I hope seeing Emma and Martin with their newly shaved heads put a smile on Nicolle’s face.”