Cancer patient backs coffee morning

Cancer patient Sue Sheppard knows the boost that a bit of extra care can give when you are battling back to health.A rare bone cancer, more common in adolescents than adults, struck down the 57-year-old 10 years ago.

Cancer patient Sue Sheppard knows the boost that a bit of extra care can give when you are battling back to health.

A rare bone cancer, more common in adolescents than adults, struck down the 57-year-old 10 years ago.

And instead of appearing in the legs or arms as normal it cropped up in her ribs, meaning she had two of them, and part of her diaphragm removed.

Coupled with doses of chemotherapy, a blot clot and shingles over her face it was a torrid time for Mrs Sheppard, especially as she was the main family breadwinner at the time, because her husband Les was recovering from two heart attacks and a bypass operation.


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But her Macmillan nurse Sue Cooper proved a tower of strength - not just with medical care, but in getting help with benefits, a holiday, and a wig.

That was 10 years ago and Sue, having been given the all clear, is now a big supporter of the annual World's Biggest Coffee Morning event which last year raised £7.6m across the nation for Macmillan.

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After raising £526 at a coffee and stalls session in her home village of Mundesley, she said: “Nothing is too much trouble. They were a big help to me.

“When you are told you have cancer you're very frightened, especially as I had lost my elder brother and sister to the disease. But I was determined it was not going to get me.”

“I had 10 months off work and was very ill. People think Macmillan is just about nursing, but they are so much more, providing care, understanding, support and information.”

The little things helped too, such as getting a grant for a wig that was better than the “horrible” hospital one.

“I lost my hair, and eyelashes and femininity. The wig was lovely and boosted my confidence, so even the little things can help,” she added.

She and Les had a break at a Macmillan hotel in Bournemouth to help them after their ordeal.

Now retired to the place when they enjoyed many family holidays, she has lost some hearing and tires easily, but is happy and grateful for the help she had from the charity and has raised about £3,000 for it over the past decade.

The main World's Biggest Coffee Morning is on Friday September 26, but Mrs Sheppard held hers early because of the availability of helpers, and while holidaymakers were still in the seaside village to boost funds.

More than 1,000 events in Norfolk last year raised £153,000 and it is hoped to top £160,000 this year.

To register for the day call 0845 602 1246 or find an on-line link at www.EDP24.co.uk/dailylinks

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