Chris Geiger

The Cancer Survivors Club

Bank Clerks or Celebrities?

IMAGINE IF HOSPITAL STAFF were replaced by bank clerks or celebrities. Imagine arriving at Accident and Emergency with a limb missing, having just lost a fight with a combine harvester, to be told "Our computers are down, can you call back later" or "I'll only help when I've got something to promote."

Most nurses and doctors I know work well beyond what's expected of them. Even when off duty and not near a hospital, they help if asked. When I was receiving chemotherapy, I even had staff come in on their days off to check I was ok.

On a recent flight to America a nurse leapt to her feet when a request was made to assist a passenger; thankfully it wasn’t the captain who needed treatment.  

At my local coffee shop, I was told unless I could gulp back my scalding hot coffee in less than two minutes I shouldn't buy it as they were just about to close. I visualised arriving at a hospital to be told, "Unless you can stop bleeding within two minutes sir, pop back in the morning.”

Strangely, or unfortunately, staff in our hospitals get little thanks for the work they do; well that’s not strictly true, I did always give the nurses a tin of chocolates.

Let's face it, some of these nurses save lives. However, some so-called celebrities are worshipped for doing what? They tell mildly amusing jokes, present TV shows or sing and get paid millions. How hard can it be to stand in front of a camera? Yet ask them for help when the cameras aren't rolling, and for some it's a totally different story.

I've written, called and e-mailed numerous well-known personalities, asking if they can help me create awareness for the charities I support, or even if I could just interview them. One TV presenter told me: "I don't read papers and I'm going on holiday soon.” Another told me "I don't do interviews for interview's sake, I only do interviews when I've something to promote."

So I've got a suggestion to all hospital staff. Now it's going to feel as unnatural as sneezing with your eyes open or resisting gravity. But next time you're asked to treat a well-known or much spoken about personality, get them to promise to publicly thank you for the job you're just about to perform. After all, if they can't be bothered to help unless on stage or with a camera rolling, why should you help when off duty or not in your place of work?


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Bad Cells

Bad Cells by Chris Geiger - Newspaper Columns

Bad Cells is a collection of Chris Geiger’s thought-provoking and witty newspaper columns. His weekly column rapidly grew in popularity, eventually earning him the prestigious Columnist of the Year award.

Bad Cells includes Chris Geiger’s wide-reaching Guinness World Record column, published on World Cancer Day and an excerpt of his top selling book The Cancer Survivors Club. It also includes an exclusive and moving article, titled Bad Cells, describing his thoughts when first diagnosed and receiving treatment for cancer.

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