In November, more than 60 children from across the North East and a cast of talented adult actors gave eight performances of Nativity! The Musical at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House in Newcastle.

Adapted by Debbie Isitt from the hugely popular film, the show from Starlight Productions entertained audiences with lively festive fun and also raised money for our Foundation.

The producer of Nativity! The Musical, Ken Anderson, visited the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle to present the cheque for £1,638 raised, and to explain why he feels it is so important to support our work.

Ken, aged 71 who lives in Lanchester, says: “It’s not overstating it to say the Northern Centre for Cancer Care saved my life and always be grateful for the care I received here.

“I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2016 and had 36 lymph nodes removed as well as radiotherapy. Then they found tumours in my liver and I was given just weeks to live without treatment.

“Thanks to Professor Ruth Plummer, I was in one of the first groups of people to try a new combination of immunotherapy drugs. After about 18 months my scans were clear and the treatment was stopped after two years and, so far, the scans have stayed clear ever since.

“That kind of progress into cancer research is only possible thanks to charities like The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and I’m very proud that our show has been part of it.

“I received my immunotherapy treatment on ward 36 and the team there were amazing. Every time we do a show I invite them along and I know they enjoyed it this year very much.”

Ken officially presented his cheque to Emma McQuitty, fundraising coordinator at Newcastle Hospitals Charity.

Emma says: “Ken has been a fundraiser for our charity for a long time and we greatly appreciate his support.

“We’re very grateful to him and to everyone who contributed through Nativity! The Musical. It sounds like it was a wonderful show and we’re all looking forward to A Christmas Carol next year.”