June's little miracle

June Spencer was just three years old when measles caused blindness in her right eye. For the next 68 years, June relied on her left eye to help her lead a happy and healthy life.


After retiring from a long career aiding the homeless and people living with mental illnesses, June wanted to continue helping those who need it the most. She became a volunteer for Saint Francis Hospice's OrangeLine — comforting local people who are feeling lonely, isolated, or in need of friendly conversation.

The 21st April 2017 was an ordinary evening for June. She went to bed, as usual, only to wake up in agony. June realised that she couldn't see at all. After fumbling around for the phone, June managed to dial 999.

Tests revealed that June had eye cancer. A haemorrhage had caused complete blindness in the eye she relied so heavily upon. Surgeons removed June's left eye through fear of the cancer spreading. As June was registered blind and provided with a prosthetic eye, what she describes as her "little miracle" started to take place.

"My brain must have told my right eye to start working," June said. For the first time since she was a toddler, June, now 71, could see out of her right eye — even if just a little.

June continues to volunteer for our Hospice. She plays an important role at Tea & Talk at Toby's — our monthly social gathering for anyone whose life has been affected by cancer.

"You have to carry on enjoying life," she encouraged. "Cancer has been a blessing in many ways. I've met so many lovely people. It's changed my life in a good way as well as a bad — and that's the message I try to spread. It's a wonderful life."

We need volunteers to do all different kinds of jobs. By volunteering, you will be doing something incredible for local people living with life-limiting illnesses. You can put your skills to good use — whatever they may be.

To find out more about how you can help, please email volunteering@sfh.org.uk or call 01708 758614.