Friends and family of popular Oakham man help hospital in his memory

Luke's family handing over a cheque for �5000 to staff from the Addenbrooke's Hospital, Neuro Critical Care Unit. Submitted.
Luke's family handing over a cheque for �5000 to staff from the Addenbrooke's Hospital, Neuro Critical Care Unit. Submitted.

Kind friends and family of an Oakham man who died after being diagnosed with a brain tumour have come together to raise thousands of pounds for a hospital which cared for him during his final days of his life.

Luke Arnold died on January 12 after a late diagnosis of a glioblastoma brain tumour just before Christmas last year.

Following the diagnosis of his condition, Luke, 27, who lived and worked in Oakham for most of his life, was cared for at Peterborough City Hospital where he was placed in an induced coma after suffering a seizure and then at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Neurocritical Care Unit in Cambridge.

Luke’s mum, Fiona Arnold, and the rest of his family were so touched by the care he was given at the unit that they were inspired to raise £5,000 for it and the Addenbrooke’s Brain Tumour Research Fund (ABTRF). a charitable arm of the hospital, which is conducting brain tumour research.

And during the summer, Luke’s former colleagues are raising cash for the unit and the fund by taking part in a series of challenges.

The former University of Lincoln student worked as a web developer at Intercity Technology, an IT solutions specialist based in Oakham, and his friends at the firm are aiming to raise £5,000 for the unit and the ABTR by completing, The Wolf Run, a 10k off-road run featuring obstacles at Stanford Hall estate, Leicestershire on June 3 and a 18k hike from Hathersage to Edale in the Peak District the following weekend.

What’s more, Luke’s girlfriend, Keera Green, held a coffee morning and cake sale at her workplace. One Call Services in Oakham, 
which raised £750 for the hospital.

Fiona paid tribute to the staff at the unit and said that the family were determined to help it continue to support people in the future and to find new treatments for 
glioblastoma brain tumours.

She said: “They gave him round-the-clock care, they are just so dedicated.

“They couldn’t have done anything more than they did.

“It is just tremendous the care he was given.

“I feel like it is somewhere people can go to get the best treatment. We were very pleased that he was referred to a hospital that has such good facilities.”

Luke, who is a former Rutland County College and New College Stamford pupil, 
used to work at Lands’ End outlet store in Oakham when he was a student and the business has donated £500 to the unit.

Intercity also held a fundraising day at its offices last week, that included a cake sale which included donations from Fiona’s employers, Rutland Adult Learning and Skills Service,

A spokesman for Intercity Technology, Christina Pendleton, said that Luke was a “much loved” member of the team and that staff are taking part in the challenges in recognition of the care he received during his short illness.

Bronte Graver, a spokesman for Addenbrooke’s Hospital, said: “We are hugely grateful for the kind donations made by Luke’s family and friends. He was clearly much loved. The incredible amount will support patients being treated on the Neurocritical Care Unit and research into Glioblastoma here at Addenbrooke’s.”

Fiona, who works as a workplace engagement officer at Rutland Adult Learning and Skills Service, explained that friends and family of Luke will continue to raise cash for the hospital.

“It was too late for Luke, but we could help other people in the future,” Fiona, 49, said.

The family will be continuing their fundraising for the hospital, when Imogen and Luke’s other two sisters, Lydia, 21, and Molly,aged 22, complete the Race for Life at Burghley House on June 4.

Elizabeth Rose Woolley, who was a close friend with Luke while he was at university, is also taking part in the Wakefield Half Marathon on June 18 to raise cash for Headcase, which researches cures for the most common forms of brain tumours.