South Norfolk cancer survivor sewing to raise money for Big C

A FORMER headteacher from south Norfolk, passionate about embroidery, has enlisted the help of fellow craft lovers to raise money for a local cancer charity that helped her battle the disease.

Sara Freeman, of Thorpe-Next-Haddiscoe, is running a homemade arts and craft stall for the first Big C Christmas Craft Fair at the Quaker Hall in Beccles.

The 71-year-old became involved in the project after meeting organiser Veronica Mason in a chance encounter in the Big C charity shop in Beccles. Mrs Freeman was buying stock-piles of wool and was approached by Mrs Mason, who asked her if she would be interested in running a stall at the fair

Mrs Freeman said: 'I did a lot of craft work throughout my chemotherapy as it's something you can do and relax when you have a lot of time to spend indoors. I don't do it to sell but I had wanted to help a charity for a while so I thought I could do it for the Big C and give them all of my proceeds made on the day.

'At first I was worried I wouldn't have enough things to make up the stall but donations of work have been flooding in from people who have heard about what I'm doing.

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'I have been amazed at what people have given me.'

So far she has had donations of embroidery, decorated plant pots, cushions, homemade jewellery and a patchwork quilt which she will be auctioning off on the day. She will also be selling some of her own embroidery, teddy bears, dolls, and embroidered note books and diaries.

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A headteacher for 11 years at the former Herman Middle School in Gorleston, which closed in September 2008, Mrs Freeman was first diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in May 2010 at a local screening.

In July she had her first operation, followed by her second in August. then six cycles of chemotherapy and in March this year she had a three week course of radiotherapy. She is currently having target therapy until May 2012.

She said: 'With cancer I don't think you realise how many people, family members or friends have been affect by it - it touches so many lives. Until I became involved with it I didn't realise.

'I don't think people talk about it enough and they are very quiet about it all but I find it helps to talk.'

Mrs Freeman has used the Big C information and support centre in the grounds of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and is looking forward to giving 'something back' to the Norfolk and Waveney based cancer charity,

She said: 'The Big C have been so good. The staff there are so supportive and kind. They give you information, they make you a cup of tea, they offer you relaxation and massages. They give so much to people who are suffering with cancer. I just want to give something back.'

The craft fair takes place on December 1 and is open to the public from 10am to 1pm. Admission is �1.

• For more information or to place a bid on the patchwork quilt please contact Mrs Mason by emailing or calling 01502 580297.

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