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Fundraiser’s bid to say thank you for help on the ‘chemo bus’

Rachel Stokes is raising money for charity
Rachel Stokes is raising money for charity

A cancer sufferer has organised a series of events, hoping to raise thousands of pounds for a charity that has done so much for her during her treatment.

Rachel Stokes, from Carbonels in Great Waldingfield, was diagnosed with breast cancer in July, aged 39.

After having surgery and chemotherapy, she wants to say thank you to national charity Hope for Tomorrow, whose mobile chemotherapy units have allowed her to retain much of her freedom.

The charity is dedicated to bringing cancer treatment closer to patients’ homes.

“With the ‘chemo bus’ coming to Sudbury Community Health Centre on a Thursday, I was able to leave work, have my flush [her ten-minute treatment] and be back at my desk within 45 minutes.

On the odd occasion that I have to go to West Suffolk Hospital, I would be away from my desk for the majority of the morning.

“I am the manager of a busy payroll department, so, for me, it was important that my treatment disrupted my work as little as possible.

“Not having to go to hospital made such a difference.

“Cancer takes so much of your normal routine away, it’s just one hospital appointment after the other, which, at times, allows little time for anything else.

“I found that by being able to use the chemo bus, I was able to maintain a fairly regular presence at work and retain much of my normal day-to-day routine.”

Mother-of-two Rachel her head shaved for Cancer Research UK in 2014.

“Almost two years to the day that I shaved my head, I was having a mastectomy and reconstruction following a breast cancer diagnosis,” she said.

“I consider myself to be extremely lucky that I found my lump when I did. It means I have a future, which is something I may not have had if I’d delayed getting it checked out.”

Her target is to raise at least £2,000 and beat her head shave total.

So far, fundraising events include a golf day at Stoke-by-Nayland on March 10, with proceeds shared equally between Action Medical Research for Children and Hope for Tomorrow.

Glemsford Social Club is hosting a race night on March 18, an evening of music on May 6 and an evening of mediumship on August 1.

To make a donation to the 40-year-old’s fund, go online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Rachel-Stokes9.

For more information on the golf day, call 07917 193459.

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