We are launching our Beatson Bauble Appeal this Christmas to ensure more patients and their families across the west of Scotland can be supported by our services.
31-year old Paolo Lizzeri, who is from Glasgow but moved to Elgin for work, is giving hope to other cancer patients after being diagnosed with cancer three times in the last six years.
Our charity is using the festive season to share patient and family stories to shine a spotlight on its Bauble Appeal.
Paolo was 25-years old and had just finished university when he started having symptoms.
WATCH: Beatson Bauble 2023 | Paolo's Story
Paolo said: “I’d just finished university and I was getting ready to look for jobs.
“I was working in a restaurant so I was really busy. I hadn’t really noticed anything but I was losing lots of weight – I was getting really skinny.
“I went to the GP one day because I thought I had a problem with my hearing. I had a lump in my neck and they said they would check that out for me too.
“All of a sudden, I was in The Beatson getting a PET scan and they said ‘you have cancer’.
“One week after that I was straight in for treatment. I went in and did ABVD treatment and that lasted about 6 months. Got to the end, I was cancer free, rang the bell, happy days – it was all finished. I went back to normal life again.”
PICTURED: Paolo and his family celebrating Christmas over the years
Unfortunately the cancer returned just three years later during the Covid pandemic.
Paolo continued: “In 2020 I started to feel a bit tired again and not really quite myself and I knew something was up.
“I had this lump and went to get it checked out - straight back to The Beatson this time because I was already aware of what was going on.
“The lump was in a weird place so I got scanned again. Turned out I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – again.
“That time we did a whole other bunch of treatment. Another six months of treatment. That time I got an auto-stem cell transplant.
“They took my own stem cells and gave me a bunch of chemotherapy and brought me back with my own stem cells again. And then I was fine, I went back to normal life and everything was normal again for another couple of years.”
Paolo’s cancer then returned earlier this year again for the third time, which he is currently being treated for.
Paolo has been using Beatson Cancer Charity’s patient services since being treated at The Beatson.
He said: “I have been to the Wellbeing Centre and when I was an inpatient getting treatment the last time there were massages and that was awesome.
“If you’re waiting for treatment you can go into the Wellbeing Centre and sit down and have a wee tea or a coffee.
“There are musical instruments you can sit and play with. The best thing about that is actually being able to talk to people in there.
“Everyone's in the same boat and you end up chatting away. Everyone has a different story and it's really fantastic to find out what that is. It's cathartic to talk to each other.
“Just know that if you’re here in Glasgow and you’re working with the doctors and nurses and support staff at The Beatson that you’re in the best hands that you can possibly be in.”
PICTURED: Paolo hanging his Beatson Bauble
Paolo says it’s brought comfort to him that he’s been treated by the same people throughout his diagnoses.
He said: “The nurses that I'm getting treatment from now are the same nurses I was getting treatment from six years ago, so I know them all. I've also had the same doctors all throughout this six year process.
“The people at The Beatson are more like an extended family to me, more than it is a hospital.
“It doesn’t feel like I'm coming to a hospital because I know everyone so well and I'm so comfortable.
“That makes getting treatment here so much easier than it would be in a somewhat more clinical environment.”
Paolo has since started a YouTube channel titled ‘3rd Time Unlucky’ where he uploads vlogs showing his experience during treatment and explains his diagnosis in more detail.
Paolo is taking part in our Beatson Bauble Appeal to raise awareness of cancer and spread hope among those who are currently going through treatment.
He said: “Beatson Cancer Charity does so much for people. Not everyone is as fortunate as me to have close friends or family there to support them so to have another network where you can meet other people who are likeminded or going through a similar situation is really useful.
“Without that you’d have people who would find a dire situation even worse. I think from that perspective it’s fantastic.
“There’s lots of other support too: therapies, massages, treatments, wigs... It makes something that is not a great situation better. That's why it’s important.”
Everyone has their own reason to hang a Beatson Bauble. It may be to remember someone special, or to celebrate some good news. Perhaps you would like to thank the staff at The Beatson, or give hope to patients.
By donating to the Beatson Bauble Appeal you will continue to provide care, love and hope to families this festive season and beyond.
Everyone who donates will receive two baubles in the post – one to hang on their own tree at home, and one to send back to be hung on the Beatson tree.
Rachel Mullin, Individual Giving Officer at Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “We are so pleased to be launching our Bauble Appeal again this year.
“Paolo has first-hand experience of The Beatson and the difference our charity’s services make to patients, and we’re so grateful to him for sharing his story.
“We'd be delighted if you could support Beatson Cancer Charity this Christmas so we can continue to be there for patients and families across the west of Scotland.”
Please support Beatson Cancer Charity’s Bauble Appeal and hang a Beatson Bauble.
You can also donate by texting BEATSON to 70460 to donate £10 or you can call 0141 212 0505.