Patient Ambassador – Victoria Workman, Worthing
In 2012, Victoria Workman, retired ‘Children’s Work Manager’, and grandma of two was diagnosed with a Human Papillomavirus (HPV) related throat cancer.
She had been experiencing choking sensations, along with an awful cold that would not shift, and her mouth was in a lot of pain. It was her mother who insisted that she go to A&E to get it seen to. During the visit that she was referred to her local ENT department for a scan and biopsy. The scan revealed that she did in fact have a throat cancer and the biopsy showed that it had been caused by HPV. Victoria was shocked that she had a throat cancer, but also that it had been caused by a virus she hadn’t even heard of. That HPV could be passed on by sex alarmed her greatly too. It caused her also initially to wonder where she had caught it and what had her husband had been up too. She soon realised that HPV was a common virus everyone develops at some point, that the body normally take care of it but that sadly for some it can go to turn in an HPV related cancer.
Victoria’s treatment for her throat cancer has been tough, but we are delighted to say that she has come through it, and now spends her time talking about HPV and its relationship to throat cancer. As well as raising awareness of throat cancers she tries to reduce the stigma associated with HPV.
Over the years she has developed a close relationship with the Throat Cancer Foundation and has been keen to raise both awareness and funds for our work. This culminated in her raising funds by challenging herself to abseil down the ‘Spinnaker Tower’ in Portsmouth, raising nearly £1,800 in the process. She has also signed up for some scientific research through us in London aimed at improving the lives of those living with the impactful side effects of throat cancer.
People like Victoria are a vital and important member of the Throat Cancer Foundation team, and we acknowledge that we are extremely privileged to have her on board. She helps us build support for us in the local community by attending events, organising collection and local fundraising activities.
Thank you, Victoria.