‘Resilient’ mums stand up against cancer

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Their bond is the fight against cancer.

Sheffield Mums Against Cancer will be officially launched next week - each member having family afflicted by the disease. Some have direct experience.

The group is raising money for Weston Park Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Charity, starting with a party at Baldwin’s Omega next Thursday.

Ceri Rodgers, who came up with the idea, said mothers knew how to achieve things. “I do believe that mums have a tremendous inner resilience and strength when it comes to a crisis. We can dig in.”

From an initial core of around ten women, most of whom have children who go to Norton Free Primary, membership is growing. A Facebook page has been set up and a website is to follow.

Support has come from local businesses. “The response has been phenomenal,” said Ceri, aged 39, of Norton Park Road, who has two children, Lily, nine, and Archie, four.

Ceri, who has worked in the recruitment industry for 20 years, is a keen runner who has raised money for Weston Park and St Luke’s in the past.

She lost a close friend, Paula Wright, to breast cancer in August 2012 and another friend, Karen Squillino, has been diagnosed. That was the final spur to create Mums Against Cancer.

Karen, who lives in Norton Lane and is mother of nine-year-old Sophie, is a member of the group. “She’s amazing,” said Ceri. “She works for the Childline charity and has carried on working all the way through chemotherapy.”

Also in the group is Amanda Miles, of Norton, who is recovering from breast cancer.

But everybody has some family experience of cancer. “In the last five or six years, it just seems that so many people have lived through it or lost their battle,” said Ceri.

Other members include Nikki Phipps, Sarah Tester, Kirsty Wilson, Nicky Copley, Lucy Lamb and Jane Kemp, Vicky Church, Lucy Elam and Vicky White.

Fundraising activities include coffee mornings, a bake sale for Weston Park. Dads are joining in with a golf day and being part of a 12-strong team in next month’s Sheffield half marathon.

Ceri said meetings were “very positive. It’s about the strength of mums, very much about fighting, not sitting back.”

The launch party, including a six-course meal, is almost sold out, but auction items are still needed. So far donations include golf tickets, hair and beauty vouchers, tickets for Sheffield Steelers’ and gifts from Wednesday and United. Contact sheffieldmumsagainstcancer@outlook.com.