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Caithness News Bulletins January 2005

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Helping Square A Debt - Charity Slave Raises Amazing Amount In A Few Hours
The 2003 festive season is one UKAEA, Dounreay employee, Ishbel Mcdonald, will not forget.  After a series of tests it was confirmed that she was suffering from lung cancer.  “However I was told it was treatable provided I had my left lung removed,” said non-smoker Ishbel.  “It was a big decision to take, but because I had always kept myself fit, I had to go for it.”  In the event the operation was a complete success, Ishbel received the all-clear, and is now back hale and hearty processing accounts in UKAEA’s finance department in Naver House, Thurso. 

She has not forgotten the support and help she and her family received these past twelve months, particularly from Macmillan nurses.  At a recent auction sale held by Bower Young Farmers, 17 year-old Neil Brims, a member and an apprentice electrician with Johnson Controls at Dounreay, offered himself as a slave for half-a-day.  Ishbel’s bid of £30 was accepted, but what would she do with him? 

“Mindful of the support our family received, I set him the task of going round staff at Dounreay and UKAEA’s associated offices at Forss and Thurso with a bucket to collect money for the Macmillan Nursing,” said Ishbel.  “It was a good job he was accompanied by fellow club member, Karen Oliphant, because the money flowed into the bucket.”  Ishbel is very grateful to all those who contributed, some more than once.  “We had great fun along the way, and the response was great,” she said. “I do hope it has helped repay the great kindness and dedication our family received from Macmillan nurses.” 

And what of her investment? “One and half-thousand pound return after a few hours on a thirty pound investment is pretty good. In fact, it was a blue-chip investment!” said a delighted Ishbel.

But it hasn’t stopped there, according to Ishbel. “More donations have been received which has taken the total to around two thousand pounds. I am overwhelmed by people’s generosity,” she said.