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In 2018, aged 39, Laura was diagnosed with bowel cancer – the fourth most common cancer in the UK. Following her diagnosis, she underwent surgery to remove the visible cancer from her bowel, including a large tumour and the lymph nodes that had also become cancerous. Once the surgery had been completed, doctors closely monitored Laura’s cancer and put her on a rigorous chemotherapy regime; every other week for 6 months she would have a round of chemotherapy over the course of 48 hours.
Laura had seen first-hand how the money raised by Lingen Davies Cancer Fund could be used to purchase pieces of equipment, to help with the treatment of cancer, and wanted to raise money for the charity herself.
She found a way to use her professional skills as an artist working in textiles to raise money, and pass the time she spent in the chemotherapy day unit. Laura set about hand piecing a patchwork quilt of Ruby red stars in support the Lingen Davies 40th Anniversary Ruby Appeal. She asked people to sponsor a star for £10 and would sew all the stars together to make a ‘Ruby Star Quilt’, which she would then raffle at The Festival of Quilts, NEC Birmingham in August. She also pledged to write the donor’s name on the back of the quilt.
Laura raised over £10,000 from sewing her quilt and added to that total by raising £5030 from selling raffle tickets to win the Ruby Star Quilt, along with other wonderful prizes. Laura’s fundraising total from her quilt project stands at £15,428.19 and she was awarded Lingen Davies Community Fundraiser of the Year 2018/19 at their recent awards ceremony.
Laura says “The debt that I owe to the medical team at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Lingen Davies Centre is massive; they have done their best to give me a chance at outrunning cancer. I hope that what I’ve done at least demonstrates my gratitude, but also raises awareness of bowel cancer in younger people so that others might be diagnosed sooner and not have to endure grueling chemotherapy treatment. Cancer is sadly something that affects so many families and I think that what struck me most was that people I’d never met, from all over the world, generously supported my project and donated to a cause that wasn’t local to them. I think people could see that through their donations to the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund, there was a direct and immediate benefit to people like me undergoing treatment.”
Click here to see a picture of the quilt in full!
Mark organised his first fundraiser in 2016 and it is now an annual event.
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