Morecambe woman saved by anonymous Norwegian stem cell donor walks round garden throughout the night - raising nearly £2,000 for charity
A Morecambe woman has raised more than £1,900 for a cancer charity by walking around her garden throughout the night.
Elspeth Roberts, 38, spelled out the word "hope" with glow sticks in her garden, and together with her friend Jo, walked for 12 hours from 7pm until 7am, raising money for blood cancer charities.
The message was to highlight that "cancer never sleeps".
It is now three years since Elspeth, who runs Wise Up Workshops in Morecambe, received a stem cell transplant after being diagnosed with acute Myloid Leukaemia in September 2015.
She said: "I had 10 rounds of chemo, the strong stuff, over six months.
"I was in remission in spring 2016 and I returned to life after cancer, wrote a few plays, lots of poetry, lived life to the max, and ran Wise Up Workshops CIC and used creativity to bring me back.
"I was having monthly check ups and all was going well, and then following a routine check up in February 2017, the cancer was back.
"It was a huge shock, even for my consultant, who tested me twice as he thought it was a mistake.
"AML had returned aggressively and this time with the grim reaper in tow, I had to find a stem cell donor and fast.
"Whilst I waited I had a few rounds of chemo, lost my hair again and then I went into the MRI for my stem cell transplant on May 12 2017 the day my life was saved by my cell mate - an anonymous donor from Norway who I'd love to meet one day."
Elspeth appealed for anyone who may be aware of a stem cell donor in Norway who donated cells in May 2017 to email her at [email protected]
Following the treatment, Elspeth said her mental health "took a pummelling" and she struggled.
"Yhere wasn't a great deal of help," she said.
"Leukaemia Care offered a grant for counselling which helped me to share my feelings and a new life with PTSD.
"This support helped me immensely as cancer twice really does batter you internally, however resilient you are."
It is now three years since Elspeth had the transplant.
She said that her life is different in many ways, but parts of her have returned.
"Creativity, sharing and helping others have all been part of my recovery," she said.
"On May 15 we walked around our garden for Leukaemia Care to help people just like me.
"The charity has a lovely ethos and I hope to continue to raise much needed funds."
She now wants to help make a change to the support given for her age category, and is planning to deliver creative art workshops for those affected by cancer.
She added: "It felt like a whopping big mountain to climb at the beginning.
"And you kinda think what on earth made me think of doing this but then once you start you feel motivated because so many people are behind you.
"Our biggest and loveliest surprise was the steady support of visitors which flowed throughout the event (whilst social distancing of course).
"Every step was worth it, the early hours were the hardest but that's what having cancer is like, it hits you and you think you can't push through but you can.
"These funds will help much needed support for people affected by blood cancer and Leukaemia Care is a wonderful charity.
"The support, encouragement, smiles and sense of love made our walk so much easier.
"Thankyou to everyone."
It's not too late to sponsor Elspeth's cause by going to justgiving/crowdfunding/ElspethRobertsNightWalk.