A MUM suffering from incurable cancer has pledged to put all her energy into raising money for charity.
Claire Wood was given the devastating news she had breast cancer in May 2012, when her daughter Jessica was just 11 months old.
She believed she had beaten it, but has now been told she is suffering from skin cancer.
However, she’s determined not to let the disease beat her and is organising a second charity bash while facing further gruelling rounds of chemotherapy.
Claire, 37, discovered she had cancer shortly after finishing breast feeding her daughter.
When one breast had not returned to normal after two months, she visited her GP, who gave her the terrible news.
Claire said: “I had no idea it was cancer. I went to the GP with what I thought was blocked milk ducts.
“The GP found a lump under my arm that I had no idea was there and I found out the same day I had cancer. My whole world fell apart.”
Claire underwent six months of chemotherapy and, in December 2012, underwent a mastectomy and lymph node removal.
In January last year she was told the operation had been a success, but she still needed radiotherapy.
She said: “I was put on tablets that I was told I would have to take for up to seven years.
“I thought I was fine but in November my scar become really red.
“I had a skin biopsy and thought it was just a reaction to the radiotherapy, but I was told I had skin cancer linked to the breast cancer.
“Up to a couple of weeks ago I was classed as stable, but two new nodules have appeared.
“I’m waiting to see the oncologist, but I’ll have to have more aggressive chemotherapy.”
Claire, lives in Bishopteignton, Shoebury with husband, Barry, who is a London banker.
She said: “I get very tired and I get upset stomachs. I have been diagnosed as incurable but, as long as I feel well, I’ll worry about it later.
“I’m a positive person and hope they will one day find something to cure it.
“It’s hard with a two-yearold, but we are open with her and she knows her mum is poorly.
“I’ve been very lucky to have a great family. I have never had to worry about keeping appointments because there is always someone there to look after Jessica.”
CLAIRE, an office worker at Southend Hospital, began to think about charity work while undergoing her treatment.
She arranged a children’s princess party which has so far raised almost £3,500 for J’s Hospice, in Chelmsford, and the David Randall Foundation, which arranges days out for families affected by illness.
More than 80 children got the chance to meet ten Disney princesses, including Belle, Cinderella, Elsa, Ariel and SnowWhite at the event, at the Skylark Hotel, in Southend, which was organised by Tiddlywinks Party Time.
Spokeswoman Carly Haye said: “All the children had their photos taken with the princesses and also enjoyed princessthemed art and craft activities, candy floss, party food and two bouncy castles.
“They also enjoyed a minidisco and one of the princess sang Disney songs. It was huge success and another is booked for July.”
Claire added: “I was told about charity events by the palliative care team at the hospital.
I was assigned my own nurse and got chatting to her about it and she said she would help me.
“We sold tickets for the party.
Mandy Silcott at Tiddlywinks did a soft play area free of charge and we had two bouncy castles donated. McDonald’s, in Eastern Avenue, gave us our happy meals.
“The money will go to J’s Hospice because they care for young people from 18 to 44 with life-limiting illnesses, and to the David Randall Foundation because they paid for my husband and my family to go to Centre Parks as a family memory.”
Claire added: “I have days when I sit down and think I can’t do anything, but I can either sit here and be miserable or be running around getting people to donate raffle prizes.
“I am organising a black- tie event in September, so I hope to raise a lot more.
“I also want to get the message across that just because you are young, it doesn’t mean you can’t get cancer.
“If you have a problem you have to go to the doctor and get it checked out even if you are young. Not for a moment did I believe I had cancer.”
! The black tie and tiara event has been organised at the Roslin Beach Hotel, in Thorpe Bay, on September 20. Tickets are £55 for a meal, prizes and raffles.
For tickets, call claire on 078844 014415.
To donate to Claire’s appeal, go to justgiving.com/claire-wood12