Woman with stage four cancer raises £2,500 and counting for Macmillan

A woman who was diagnosed with stage four bowel and liver cancer has raised £2,500 and counting through hosting a Macmillan coffee morning.

Celebrating the achievement, from left to right: Carol Rhodes, Deborah O'Leary, Pam Moorcroft and Tammy Sanga.
Celebrating the achievement, from left to right: Carol Rhodes, Deborah O'Leary, Pam Moorcroft and Tammy Sanga.

Deborah O'Leary, from Aldridge in Walsall, organised the event at Druids Heath Golf Club to raise funds for the cancer charity.

Mrs O'Leary said: "I just wanted to give something back. I really can't believe it. I was only aiming for £500.

"Druids were kind enough to let us use the club. It was just surreal. Golfers were going out with boxes of cakes on their caddies. People were pressing £20 notes into my hands."

The fifty-three-year old raised £1,200 through the coffee morning, but donations kept flooding in, with an anonymous individual sending over a whopping £500.

And because the funds were raised in a community centre, the charity hopes that the money will be ring-fenced specifically for use in Walsall.

She has also been donated two golden lockets by Susan Dudley, which she will auction off to raise further funds for Macmillan, and a raffle prize from the organisation she works at, T.O.L Decorators.

The health and safety manager thought she just had symptoms of IBS when she suffered from repeated stomach pain. But after she was admitted to A&E in April with severe stomach pain, doctors knew something was wrong, and diagnosed her with bowel and liver cancer. Mrs O'Leary is particularly thankful for the staff at Walsall Manor Hospital.

"They saved my life. I thought it was just appendicitis."

She is now waiting to see how her liver tumour responds to treatment, and is keeping proactive. Her plea to others is to be persistent and not ignore repeated symptoms.

"Doctors were asking me cancer questions, but because I only had the one symptom, I didn't think I had it."

Bowel cancer symptoms include abdominal pain, blood in faeces, and a persistent change in bowel habit - but Deborah O'Leary only had the first symptom.

To find out about fundraising for Macmillan, go to macmillan.org.uk/fundraise.

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