Spennymoor family's donation to thank Bishop Auckland ward for cancer support

BIG CHEQUE: Fundraisers Laura Dartnall, seated, and her aunt, Marie Bear, present £2,000 to staff nurse Charlotte Smith, left, and sister Yvonne Stuart, back right, at the Mara unit at Bishop Auckland Hospital Picture: ANDY LAMB

BIG CHEQUE: Fundraisers Laura Dartnall, seated, and her aunt, Marie Bear, present £2,000 to staff nurse Charlotte Smith, left, and sister Yvonne Stuart, back right, at the Mara unit at Bishop Auckland Hospital Picture: ANDY LAMB

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Sedgefield)

A FAMILY’S fundraising campaign has paid off for a hospital ward which will use its donation to make life a little easier for cancer patients.

When Marie Bear was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2012 her sister and niece, Kathleen and Laura Dartnall, began raising money for charity.

The family, from Spennymoor, in County Durham, held supermarket bag packs and hosted charity nights at Spennymoor Leisure Centre and Leeholme Workingmen’s Club, near Bishop Auckland.

From the proceeds they donated £700 to Breakthrough Breast Cancer and today (Friday, August 22) presented £2,000 to the Mara Unit, at Bishop Auckland Hospital.

Sister Yvonne Stuart said: “It is a great help, the money will buy pumps to administer chemotherapy.

“With more equipment people won’t have to wait as long for treatment.”

Mrs Bear also held a coffee morning which raised £200 for Macmillan Cancer Support and a group from The Oaks Secondary School, in Spennymoor, where she is a learning support assistant, made £1,470 for Cancer Research UK by running the Race for Life.

The 46-year-old mother of two said the fundraising was a way for the family to put something back into the organisations that supported her.

She said: “I had chemotherapy and herceptin at Bishop Auckland Hospital, radiotherapy at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and an operation at Darlington Memorial Hospital, just completing a year and a half of treatment in June.

“It was hugely daunting at first but the Mara staff are amazing and put you at ease.

“At first I’d dread coming but it got easier because there is a sense of family and community, it was like a second home.”

Miss Dartnall added: “By fundraising we feel we are playing a part in all of the good work being done and can help other people hit with cancer.”

The family thanked supports, particularly GP Dr Andrew Herd and Chapter Engineering, in Durham.

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