Bexhill woman thankful for support as cancer returns for third time
The founder of an animal sanctuary in Bexhill has been diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time.
Barby Keel, the founder of Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary, confirmed the news on Monday (September 7) and said she is now at home recovering after undergoing an operation at Conquest Hospital.
Barby was first diagnosed with breast cancer 17 years ago, before it returned six years later.
Speaking to the Observer after her latest operation – which she described as the worst of her life – Barby said: “I want to say thank you for all the letters, donations and cards that were sent in.
“Thank you to my motley crew at the animal sanctuary for all their help. And I’d also like to say a special thank you to my good friends Elaine and Rob who have been there for me since my cancer first started 17 years ago. They have been absolutely brilliant friends.
“I am now back home and recovering.”
Barby also thanked all the staff at Conquest Hospital who cared for her during her stay.
She said the staff were ‘brilliant’ and described the cleanliness in the hospital as ‘second to none’.
She added: “If anyone is frightened to go into hospital because of Covid-19 – and I know plenty of people are – please don’t be. The cleaning is brilliant. The care I had and the cleanliness was absolutely brilliant.
“I will admit I was apprehensive going in but you don’t need to worry about it because they clean everything. They are on the ball.”
Barby said her cancer diagnosis has compounded a ‘bad year’ for her and the animal sanctuary.
After the death of four close friends earlier in the year, Barby said the Covid-19 pandemic has cost the sanctuary about £50,000.
She added: It has been a big worry for me. I don’t normally ask for money but we really need people to donate to help us survive.”