Our thanks to Sunderland-based Ashford Orthodontics, who have generously donated £1,000 to our Foundation as a thank you for the ongoing cancer treatment one of its directors is receiving.

Graeme Winyard

Graeme Winyard is Technical Director at the firm and has been receiving regular treatment for a brain tumour at The Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle.

Graeme, one of three directors at the company, was diagnosed with a brain lesion over the summer on the day the Ashford directors were signing a major contract.

Graeme explains: “I hadn’t felt well when I was driving in to sign the deal, and then had pins and needles in my left hand and struggled picking things up.

“Later that day it hadn’t got any better so I had to call an ambulance and I was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, where I had a CT scan and I got the results within hours.”

Within two weeks of his diagnosis, Graeme had a consultation with a surgeon at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and days later had an operation to reduce the tumour. He was then referred to The Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Centre, received the maximum dosage of radiotherapy, and is continuing with chemotherapy and steroid treatment.

Graeme adds: “I had to go into the Centre for treatment every week day for six weeks, so got to know the staff there really well. They’re all fantastic and I’ve had the best treatment anybody could possibly get.

“The support I’ve had from the Ashford team has been amazing and I’m very grateful to them all. It has been so positive and has helped me enormously.”

Sean Thompson, Managing Director at Ashford, says: “Graeme is hugely popular at work, everyone loves him and our donation to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was our way of saying thank you to them for taking such good care of a massively important figure in our team.

“2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, but particularly for Graeme and his family and it’s been great to finish the year on a positive note by donating to a charity which has been a Godsend to one of our own.”

Ashford Orthodontics was established in 2001 and became a limited company with the addition of directors Craig Stevens and Graeme. It is now the largest orthodontic laboratory in the UK, employing almost 70 people at its Sunderland HQ.

The firm manufactures bespoke orthodontic appliances and has an extensive client base stretching across the UK and Europe to Australia and New Zealand.

The company also donated £1,000 to the Red Sky Foundation, which buys life-saving equipment for local hospitals and communities.

Our thanks to everyone at the firm for thinking of us and helping end the year on a positive note. And our very best wishes to Graeme for his ongoing treatment at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Centre.