Gill Knight is Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse for the Wales Cancer Network. Gill’s day job is to be the professional voice of the Specialist Cancer Nurse in Wales. Not one for a quiet life – Gill, as well as fitting in a full-time job, a busy family life, and trying to do a PHD – is also training to run this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon in April. You can find out how to support Gill at the bottom of this blog!
Later this month you are taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon – raising funds for Macmillan. The marathon is on Sunday 24 April, how is your training going?
The training is hard but I did manage 20 miles at the weekend. I was very stiff the next morning though!
It is really hard. I’ve never done a marathon before so it is definitely a challenge but I’m thrilled to be part of Team Macmillan and strangely excited for the big day…
Is this your first Marathon to raise funds for charity?
Yes this is my first marathon (and probably last??) although I have done a half marathon to raise funds for Velindre before.
You are Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse for the Wales Cancer Network, so your day job already supports Macmillan to help people affected by cancer but you also decided to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support. Why?
I have worked as a cancer nurse in Wales for nearly 20 years and have met, worked with, supported so many people with cancer in my career both personally and professionally, and value Macmillan Cancer Support’s contribution to make things better.
My career has given me fantastic opportunities to work across care sectors with a range of professionals with a core aim of improving cancer care for both the patient and their significant others.
The support of Macmillan really adds to the work I am involved with and I know it is appreciated by people affected by cancer.
We guess you don’t go home at night and put your feet up. What’s your training schedule like?
One long run a week, another up to two shorter runs and some cross training, fitting training with having two very active boys Dan, aged 14 and Sean, aged 12, means that spare time is pretty tight!
Tell me a bit about your Macmillan role and where you work?
As the lead cancer nurse for the Wales Cancer Network I professionally represent the strategic direction development and alignment of Specialist Cancer Nurses through collaboration with Directors of Nursing and Lead Cancer Nurses from across organisations, ensuring that optimal standards of cancer care are provided through the leadership and management of professional and clinical standards.
I am working with Health Boards and Trusts and the Wales Cancer Network to support the delivery of the local and national cancer agenda and the Cancer Delivery Plans.
My priority is supporting cancer nurses in the delivery of well coordinated, integrated cancer pathways, sharing best evidence based practice across Wales with a focus on quality services, consistency where appropriate with demonstrable positive person centred outcomes.
How does the Wales Cancer Network help people affected by cancer?
The Wales Cancer Network works in partnership with Health Boards, Trusts, Community Health Councils, Voluntary Organisations and Public Health Wales to co-ordinate the planning, organisation and delivery of cancer services across Wales.
The strategic purpose of the Wales Cancer Network is to improve the quality of life and experience of those living with a cancer diagnosis, improve cancer survival, reduce variation whilst ensuring the safety and sustainability of cancer services.
What’s your clinical background?
I registered as a nurse in 1994 and have had many roles in cancer and palliative care services across Wales (from staff nurse, sister, ward manager, associate lecturer, education lead, project manager) over the last 20 years working in Wales.
This is my third Macmillan role in the last 10 years, all whilst being seconded from Velindre Cancer Centre.
Good luck with the Virgin Money London Marathon! We’ve heard that Macmillan supporters cheer the loudest! If anyone would like to sponsor you for the race, what do they need to do?
Please sponsor me if you can at: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/GillianKnight1Macmillanfundraising