Nurse Beryl Roberts has been hailed as a hero after speaking out about her experience working with cancer patients after suffering from the disease herself.
Roberts decided to become a cancer nurse after enduring the death of a close family friend to lung cancer many years ago. Later in her career, Roberts herself was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
“It helped me understand what the patients needed. I knew what I needed when I had cancer and I could relate to the patients needing to know what’s happening next… to know who they could call if they were unwell, and have a key worker or a nurse who looked after them,” says Roberts.
Roberts’s nursing career began back in her late teens at a time when chemotherapy treatments were not yet available — treatment was limited and survival rates were low. Throughout both her career and personal struggle with cancer, Roberts has witnessed major milestones in the development of cancer treatments. “It’s amazing. It’s just unbelievable where we’ve come to. Some patients are living well with cancer […] and many are cured of it,” says nurse and survivor, Beryl Roberts.