More MS news articles for Jan 2002

Prince raises cannabis in hospice visit

20.53PM GMT, 28 Jan 2002

Prince Charles has mentioned the medical benefits of cannabis to patients at a hospice in Mid Wales.

The prince spoke to multiple sclerosis sufferers at a day-care centre in Brecon and asked a few pertinent questions.

Gill Ganderton was among the group of patients who met the prince.

She said: "He asked how long I'd been coming here, so I told him 1998. I've got MS, and he was asking about cannabis and if I'd ever starting taking it. I said: 'No, not yet!'"

Some researchers have argued that the use of cannabis can alleviate the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

However, the purpose of the prince's visit was to award an MBE to a nurse who had been unable to attend a Buckingham Palace honours ceremony because her patients could not come with her.

Dyfanwen Jones, 55, was awarded the honour last year for her community work.

The Prince of Wales, who is patron of Macmillan Cancer Relief, told staff and patients at the Usk House day centre for cancer patients in Brecon that Mrs Jones thoroughly deserved her award.

"I'm so glad to have been able to do this because I know Dyfanwen was reluctant to go to Buckingham Palace," he joked.

"We had to find a way of coming down here to help present her with this decoration."

He said to Mrs Jones: "Thank goodness there are marvellous people like you around. This is just an opportunity to say an enormous and heartfelt thank you to you."

Mrs Jones, who set up Usk House nine years ago and who works at Bronllys Hospital near Brecon as a Macmillan Cancer Relief nurse, said she was overwhelmed.

"I think it's just been a lovely day and he was so warm and chatty with people."

She revealed that she became involved in caring for people after she was orphaned as a child.

"My mother died when I was 14. I was left an orphan. She died from cancer. There was no support. I think as I became a nurse, I realised how important support is for people."

Charles spent around an hour chatting to Usk House day patients and staff, including members of the Bumble Bee group, which is made up of children whose parents or relatives are being treated in the centre.

The Bumble Bees presented Charles with gift boxes containing ties decorated with the Welsh dragon motif for Prince William and Prince Harry.