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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Carlisle woman inspires friends to raise money for cancer unit

A young woman bravely battling cancer has inspired friends to raise thousands of pounds to help the medics caring for her.

Sam Don, 25, of Morton, Carlisle, is being treated for cancer at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

She had been due to take part in the fundraising event at the Royal Scot pub she’d started to organise but wasn’t well enough to make the journey.

So her friends took up the reins and raised £2,000 before the fundraiser had even started.

One of them, Donna Graham, says the response has been remarkable.

“She’s inspired us, she’s inspired the whole of Carlisle. Everyone’s giving money or things to auction or raffle.

“She’s only little but she’s got the heart of a lion.”

Sam’s cancer, on her spine, was first diagnosed seven years ago. She’s been in hospital for the past six months.

Another friend, Claire Brumwell, says if Sam was able to be at the event she’d be making the most of it.

“If she was here she’d be dancing on the tables. She loves to be the centre of attention. She’s always laughing, always cheeky. She just hasn’t let things get to her at all. Everyone loves her.”

The event on Friday night included releasing dozens of balloons which people had paid £3 each to attach messages to, and several cabaret acts paid for by the pub.

Best friend Kerry Porter says Sam wants to raise as much money as she can for the people who’ve helped her.

“It’s for Ward 34 of the Teenage and Young Adults Cancer Unit at the Freeman Hospital. She wants to show how grateful she is to the ward that’s looked after her so well.”

Friends have been raising money for Sam in other ways. Jenna Barnes did the Race for Life in Carlisle last weekend and has added the £600 she got in sponsorship to the funds.

Kelly Rogers has been one of the main organisers along with Leona Hull, Nikki Harkness and Fiona McKie. Kelly says helping Sam has brought a whole community together.

“It means absolutely everything to us, you can’t put it onto words. She’s beautiful and when you think of what she’s gone through and she’s still smiling,” she said.

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