A Suffolk artist has thanked the Pear Tree Fund for the “life-changing” support he received during his cancer treatment by creating an original piece of artwork to appear on a Christmas card to raise money for the charity.
John Appleton, 45, was diagnosed with myeloma in February. As his treatment took place during the COVID-19 lockdown, he struggled for several months to make the 45 minute journey to hospital alone – until his doctor referred him to the Pear Tree Fund.
Since then, John has received emotional support, a listening ear and advice about benefits and housing, while the charity has liaised with his family and provided support for his mum. John has also benefitted from counselling, while the Pear Tree Fund organised transport to and from hospital to prevent him from having to drive.
Keen to say thank you, John has gone onto design an image of a partridge in a pear tree for the charity to use on Christmas cards to raise further funds and awareness.
“The support I have received from the Pear Tree Fund has been life-changing,” said John, who lives in Halesworth and is now helping set up a cancer support group at the Pear Tree Centre. “The charity has given me care outside of my family and has made me feel less of an outsider, as serious long-term illness tends to make you feel. It has also helped promote community and a sense of inclusivity.
“I decided to donate my artwork as I wanted to give something back to the Pear Tree Fund to say thank you while helping to raise funds and awareness of this great charity, which is a lifeline to so many local people.”
John’s cards are available from the Pear Tree Centre in Bungay Road, Dee’s Den in Steeple End and Halesworth Book Shop. They are priced at £3 for 10 and £5 for 20.
All funds raised from their sale will be used to provide information, advice and support to people with a life-changing illness or long-term condition, as well as their families and carers. This includes a range of free services available from the Pear Tree Centre, such as wellbeing and bereavement support and help to live well in the community.
Kevin Vaughan, chief executive of the Pear Tree Fund, said: “We are incredibly grateful to John for designing this fabulous piece for us to use on this year’s charity Christmas card, and are delighted that the help we have been able to offer him has made such a difference.
“We would encourage anyone else who has a life-changing illness or long-term condition, or is caring for someone who does, to get in touch with us to find out more about the wide range of support we are able to offer when people need it the most.”
For more information about John’s work, visit his website.