Norfolk Lymphoma Group raises �100,000

Norfolk Lymphoma Group is celebrating raising �100,000 over the last decade to help people with the cancer.

The group was founded in 2001 by Norwich man David Cooke, after he was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma – a little-known cancer of the lymphatic system.

The aim of the group is to raise awareness and funds to support other people affected by lymphoma, working alongside the Lymphoma Association's Norwich support group and the Big C charity. While Mr Cooke, from Townsend Road, Eaton Rise, may have won a battle against his rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, he knows it is likely to return one day and says that is one of the reasons why people with the condition need support.

Mr Cooke, the president of the Norfolk Lymphoma Group said: 'We were over-the-moon to learn we have reached �100,000 because over the past 10 years it has been quite a hard slog and we worked very hard last year. We are trying to raise awareness of our particular cancer and we work with the hospital and also closely with the Big C charity.'

The group's new chairman Marguerite Russell helped to push the total over the �100,000 mark, with the help of four friends and the support of her employer Fosters solicitors. Ms Russell, 52, from Keswick, held a Dip for a Dip event, in which staff, clients, family and friends were invited to buy a raffle ticket and choose a lucky dip prize. Ms Russell, her brother Brian Rose, niece Heidi Foster and two friends donned the charity's purple colours for a dip in the cold choppy north sea at Cromer on Boxing Day in memory of Ms Russell's sister Yvonne Rose, who died from cancer in 2009 and lived at West Runton.

She said: 'It was very cold and an amazing event that I don't think I will ever forget.

'We'd like to thank Fosters and everyone who supported us. There are so many individuals and businesses in Norwich and Norfolk who have helped us to reach this total.'

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Over the past two years, Big C, Norfolk and Waveney's cancer charity, has had just under 350 visits regarding lymphoma, including patients, family members and healthcare professionals.

A spokesman for the charity said: 'What's important is that for a group like the lymphoma group, we can provide the local support that each individual with this diagnosis needs, close to their homes in Norfolk and Waveney.'

Alice Strudwick, director of fundraising at the Lymphoma Association, said: 'Raising this amount over 10 years is a magnificent achievement and a credit to the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of everyone involved. We are so proud to have this shining example of such a dynamic local fundraising group.

'The Norfolk Lymphoma Group has had such an impact on increasing awareness levels of lymphoma in Norfolk and made a real difference to our work supporting people affected by this disease. We are enormously grateful for the group's ongoing commitment, energy and support.'