Hope for Tomorrow was founded by Christine Mills in December 2003, after she lost her husband David to cancer. One of the many stresses the couple endured was travelling from their home to the Oncology Centre – a journey of nearly 60 miles.
Christine wanted the charity to focus in a practical way, to alleviate the additional anxieties of travelling. She met Dr Sean Elyan, Consultant Oncologist and Medical Director of the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and discovered that he had a vision to bring chemotherapy closer to the patient.
This inspired her to make the dream into a reality and the charity raised enough money to build the world’s first Mobile Cancer Care Unit (previously Mobile Chemotherapy Unit).
A Word from Dr Sean Elyan MB FRCP FRCR
“I am a Consultant Cancer Specialist and Medical Director and in about 1998 I saw a patient who was on treatment number 20 out of 30. He was spending 3½ hours every week travelling from Llandrindod Wells in Powys to Cheltenham for chemo and the same time going back.
I thought to myself; we must be able to do better than this.
The answer seemed simple – a mobile chemotherapy service.
It was only when I met Christine Mills that I realised we shared a vision and through the energy, inspiration and vision of Christine and the Hope for Tomorrow team, this dream has been realised.
In my career within Oncology over 25 years I have seen many changes in care of cancer patients and there are 3 innovations that I think have been truly transformational:
The introduction of platinum based chemotherapy
The use of revolutionary new anti-sickness drugs
The development of the Mobile Chemotherapy service
The story behind the Hope for Tomorrow Logo
Before the charity was founded by Christine Mills, a beautiful rainbow (one of many) appeared to her when she was standing on the lawn at her home at Upton Lodge. It appeared between two of the trees in the garden and, on launching the charity in 2003, Christine decided that a rainbow would be the main theme for the logo, as a rainbow means “Hope for Tomorrow”.
Many years ago when looking through a book on heraldry, Christine and her husband David, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2002, discovered that the symbol for their surname “Mills” was in fact the swan. Additionally, the swan also had great personal meaning for Christine and David, due to the love that swans devote to each other for life.
A swan also denotes ‘business success and wealth’ through diligent efforts, which is what Christine wanted for the charity Hope for Tomorrow.