Watton cancer patient overwhelmed by friends’ support

A Watton mother battling a rare form of cancer said she felt overwhelmed by the support of her friends' who are organising a mammoth charity event in her honour.

Sharon Newson's world has been turned upside down since she was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a bone cancer which is most often associated with – usually male – children and teenagers.

'To have it in an older woman is amazing,' she said. 'It affects one in every 250,000 people – and of those, 1pc or 2pc would be older people. The doctors have been trying to find me someone in the same situation, but they haven't found anyone so far.'

The shop workers' union employee has gone from a mother-of-two who is always in control, to an emotional patient who is just three weeks in to what could be a year of treatment to beat the disease.

Having just come through her first three-week cycle of chemotherapy, Ms Newson, who is in her 40s, is determined to remained positive.


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She said: 'I've had round one, and it got in a few low blows. Now I'm ready for round two. It's going to be better this time.

'I'm quite positive but I can't help what goes on in my body. That's what really annoys me. I can't do anything about it.'

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When the Watton mother returned home from treatment at the University College Hospital in London, she was greeted by friends Sara Bone, 41, and Sarah Ellis, 37, who had some news for her.

The pair, who have both known Mrs Newson for many years, had decided to organise a charity fundraiser to collect money for the hospital and Macmillan Cancer Support, and also raise awareness of the disease.

'It's overwhelming,' Ms Newson said. 'It makes me cry. I couldn't believe at that point what they had done.'

The event began as a charity head shave and leg wax featuring the cancer patient's partner Gary Booth, but has since snowballed and is continuing to grow.

The Mammoth Macmillan Festival of Fun is now set to include live music, dog agility displays, performances from local dance group Stardance, a petting zoo, martial arts displays, and a bar and barbecue, all set in the 15-acre Richmond Hall Farm at Saham Toney.

The friends hope to also have big screens where they can show messages from cancer survivors and their families.

Ms Newson said: 'Everybody associates cancer with death, but there are so many people who do survive. We need to use this to raise awareness of different cancers but also that people get through this – if it happens to your family, don't be scared.'

The original idea of the head shave – which is still set to take place – came when Ms Newson began to lose her hair in handfuls. Having recently plucked up the courage to have her head shaved, her partner is soon set to join her.

The Mammoth Macmillan Festival of Fun takes place on Saturday August 20 from 2pm. Tickets at �7.50 for adults (�6 in advance), �3.50 for under 12s (�2.75 in advance) and �20 for a family ticket (�16 advance).

They are available online at www.mammothfestival.org, by calling 07591 668212 or 07713 896348, or on the gate.w

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