Family raises funds in the face of cancer

By Victoria Hallifax in Charity

A CALDICOT woman is working hard to raise money for the charity supporting her ill mother.

Nicola Richards is organising a coffee morning on 23rd August to raise money for Myeloma UK after her mum Julie Duffield was diagnosed with cancer of the blood in March.

The coffee morning will be held in Caldicot Choir Hall from 11am to 3pm, and will feature a raffle with around 45 special prizes.

69-year-old Mrs Duffield was diagnosed with Myeloma earlier this year after suffering from pain and discomfort for more than a year.

The former Caldicot hairdresser visited three doctors complaining of arm, shoulder and neck pain, but was told she’d pulled a muscle or trapped a nerve, and needed to see a physio. It was only on her fourth attempt to seek help that Mrs Duffield was given a blood test, followed swiftly by a bone marrow biopsy and a hospital diagnosis.

Myeloma is a cancer of the blood caused by the abnormally high production of plasma cells by the bone marrow. It is generally not thought of as curable, but it is treatable, and Mrs Duffield has been warned of the likelihood of times of remission and relapse.

Surrounded by a large family of two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, Mrs Duffield’s daughter Nicola decided it was time to help the charity searching for a cure, and the family hopes to hold annual fundraising events. She said: “Mum just wants to give something back to help.

“Despite having good days and bad days, she’s always positive.

“It’s just hard for her, she’s a person who was always on the go, with people always telling her to ‘slow down, you’re doing too much,’ so to see her the opposite, walking with a stick, it is sad to see.”

At this month’s coffee morning, visitors will be asked to pay £5 to enter for as much tea, coffee and cake as they like. The raffle costs £1 a strip, and features prizes such as professional photo shoots, hair and beauty appointments, a tour of Principality Stadium Cardiff, an @Bristol family ticket, meal vouchers, wine, spirits and even one night’s accommodation locally for two.

Tickets need to be bought before 2pm on the day, but can be bought in advance by calling Nicola on 07754737339.

Funds are also being raised online at www.justgiving.com/nicola-richards21, with £440 gathered already.

Caldicot U3A walking club member Mrs Duffield has already battled through five rounds of chemotherapy, and is responding to treatment. She has now been referred to the University Hospital of Wales to find out whether she is eligible for a bone marrow transplant.

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