A Barrow man who has died from a rare form of cancer is set to make a difference in the lives of others battling the disease.
Gareth Brown died in 2017 at the age of 28 after developing pheochromocytoma, a rare form of the disease affecting the adrenal glands.
His family raised money to fund a room in the Oncology Unit at Furness General Hospital – and the room is now named after Gareth as a sign of his lasting legacy in the community.
Gareth’s sister, Gemma Brown, said: “The family were upset to visit Gareth’s room in the hospital.
“When we first started fundraising, it wasn’t something we imagined would happen – it was more than we expected.
“Gareth looked after everyone, so he would have loved the difference the room made for patients.
“He was such a positive person, and it will help other people have a positive experience as they go through such a difficult time.”
The room features illuminated “Visualite” ceiling panels showing calming images to patients.
Oncology Unit Director Jayne Bickerstaff said, “Gareth’s room is used for oncology patients when they have their PICC lines inserted.
“A PICC line is inserted into a vein in the patient’s arm to administer their chemotherapy treatment.
“The procedure can be quite difficult for patients, and lighted ceiling panels have been proven to relieve stress and anxiety.
“We are very proud to have named the room in honor of Gareth and grateful for all the generous donations that have helped us make treatment more comfortable for our patients.
Gareth’s family and friends have raised tens of thousands of pounds for the oncology unit, has been raised so far through a number of activities including sponsored triathlons, the walk from Keswick to Barrow, a football tournament, race nights, children’s dance performances and more.
Gareth’s father, Steve, and mother Karen recently visited the unit to view the coin and the newly unveiled plaque bearing Gareth’s name.
UHMBT Non-Executive Director Adrian Leather said: “It’s nice to see Gareth’s memory honored through the name of this piece.
“We are very grateful to Gareth’s family for their contribution to the Oncology Unit, which we hope will help our patients feel more comfortable during their treatment.