The night Mary How died, her GP and husband founded a trust in her name, dedicated to the early detection of malignant and other diseases.
The mother-of-two from West Chiltington was 46 when she died from bowel cancer.
The key thing is that nobody is turned away because of their financial position
Earlier detection could have saved her life.
This year the Mary How Trust marks its 30th anniversary, and in those years the charity has screened thousands of people, helping many receive early and life-saving treatment.
The services are provided for a donation based on ability to pay, ensuring people from all walks of life can benefit.
“The key thing is that nobody is turned away because of their financial position,” says Michael Follis, chairman of trustees.
“It was started in memory of Mary How who died of bowel cancer far too early.
“Our big focus is on early detection. People come to us feeling fine and discover something is wrong. Early detection is the key to increasing your chances of survival.”
The trust is based in Pulborough, and anyone can apply for an appointment.
People have come for screening from Worthing, Chichester, Midhurst, Petworth, Storrington and Horsham to name just a few.
“If our screening finds something that needs investigating we can refer to the GP and they can take it further,” says Mr Follis.
“The number of people who tell us they didn’t know anything was wrong, but our screening has detected something at an early stage and they’ve been able to get treatment early.”
Mr Follis is proud of the charity’s strong reputation and good relationship with the people who come for screening and the health professionals they refer patients on to.
All its services are funded by donations, with charity shops in Pulborough and Billingshurst. Money is also raised at the monthly screenings held by the Mary How Trust Film Society at West Chiltington Village Hall, as well as events held in the community like quiz nights and bingo. To mark the 30th anniversary the charity launched its appeal, asking people to donate £30 to mark its 30th.
The Mary How Trust is aiming to raise around £30,000 to buy a new ultrasound machine. It is also seeking to raise funds needed to support the trust’s own blood laboratory, which is at the heart of its health screening programme.
“A new ultrasound machine will ensure that we have the latest trechnology available to help more people,” says Mr Follis.
“We hope this appeal
will help set us up for the next 30 years.”
Consider making a donation of £30 today at: www.maryhowtrust.org/donate