Roger Potts

The colleagues of a much loved husband and father of two receiving treatment for an aggressive form of cancer have scaled the heights of Mount Snowden to raise thousands of pounds for Sheffield Hospitals Charity.  

Staff at Urban Planters took on the challenge to say thank you for Roger Potts’ care at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia last Christmas.

Roger, from Oxspring in Sheffield, who co-owns the Leeds/Bradford franchise with his wife Jayne, has undergone chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant and remains in hospital due to further complications.

Within days he was diagnosed with leukaemia

Jayne said: “Roger had been feeling lethargic and tired, with no energy and he was losing weight. He was also suffering from nose bleeds, but this was nothing unusual for him.

“At the time he’d had two impacted teeth taken out, but his gums wouldn’t heal even with antibiotics. We put him feeling unwell down to that.

“Then on Christmas Day he felt really poorly, just completely wiped out. I thought he might have sepsis due to his dental wounds, so on Boxing Day I forced him to go to A&E, where they transferred him straight to the Haematology ward.

“Within days he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. He spent three months in hospital and needed two rounds of chemotherapy. He then needed a stem cell transplant, and luckily a donor was found really quickly.

“This went well and he was allowed home about a month later and attended hospital as an outpatient twice a week. Then in August he started feeling unwell again and was later diagnosed with Graft-versus- host disease, a complication that can arise from a transplant.

Roger's care has been fantastic

“At the moment he is undergoing treatment to get that under control. Roger’s care has been fantastic, we cannot fault it. Even so, we just want him home.

“Roger and I feel honoured that our fellow colleagues have taken part in this challenge to raise funds for the haematology department where Roger is being treated. They did amazingly well and we are really proud.”

For this year’s annual conference, staff at Urban Planters decided to take its usual team building activities up a notch, by embarking on a mass trek up Mount Snowdon.

We calculated that we climbed 8.5 times the height of Everest

Dave Gouldney, Operations Director said: “The challenge went even better than we expected. Seventy-nine people from our network and their partners set off up the mountain, undeterred by the forecast, which promised heavy rain and winds of up to 60mph at the summit!

“The camaraderie was fantastic on the climb, especially when the horizontal rain arrived! Everyone supported each other through the trickier bits and keeping Roger in our minds as we climbed spurred us on.

“We calculated that, all together, we climbed 8.5 times the height of Everest – a brilliant feat, by a team made up of a wide range of ages and abilities.”

The team raised more than £12,000 which will be split equally between Sheffield Hospitals Charity and another national cancer charity.

To donate funds to enhance the care of patients at Sheffield’s adult hospitals, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/donate