A NURSE who has been battling breast cancer for the last year has raised more than £4,500 to help pay for a machine that will speed up the diagnosis of future patients.
Emily Montgomery organised a coffee morning on Saturday at Newbury Town Hall and set up an online donations page in aid of the Royal Berks Charity.
So far, the charity has raised more than £38,000 towards a Faxitron machine, which allows breast tissue samples to be analysed in just one minute.
With Mrs Montgomery’s fund-raising efforts to be added to that, the charity has now almost reached the £47,000 target.
The coffee morning saw cancer support group members from across Berkshire help bake cakes and serve tea and coffee, raising a staggering £1,500 in just two hours.
Speaking about the fundraiser, Ms Montgomery who works as a director of nursing and quality for Care UK, said: “It went absolutely brilliantly – better than expected.
“We had lots of women coming to help, baking cakes and treats.
“We actually had a queue coming out of the door at one point.
“Along with my justgiving page, and the match-funding from my employer, we’re expecting to raise more than £4,500.”
Before the event, 50-year-old Ms Montgomery, from Highclere, explained how the machine would benefit future patients.
“In many other places around the country they already have a Faxitron machine, but here in Berkshire patients have to wait about a week for their biopsy results to come back,” she said.
“Having gone through it myself, that week is the most horrendous. You don’t eat, you don’t sleep, you have all these imaginary conversations with yourself about how you’re going to tell people, and you still have to function at work.
“I’ve spoken to women in many, many support groups, many of whom have had the same experience. We just want to make sure that other women don’t have to go through the same thing.”
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News on Tuesday, she added: “It’s just nice to give back.
“A lot of people had said to me they knew exactly what I meant when they heard [about the wait].
“There were a lot of people coming up to me with their own stories of how breast cancer had affected them, or someone they knew.”
The fundraiser also provided a place for others to gain support and advice.
The Newbury Breast Care Support Group was on hand at the event, with the chairwoman, Maureen leDu, displaying information and talking to patients and their families about breast cancer support. A delighted Ms Montgomery said: “The sun was on our side, the mayor came along, and the town crier did a superb job of getting the word out.
“It was such a great team effort from all of the support groups, and everyone created a very positive atmosphere.
“We all had that one thing in common.”
To donate visit Mrs Montgomery’s justgiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Emily-Montgomery1