A FAREWELL party organised by a terminally-ill singer has raised vital funds for a cancer charity.
Blues singer Maggie Ross, of Washington, has been diagnosed with lung and brain cancer and doctors have told her she only has months to live.
In 1981, Maggie was asked to record a song to help raise funds to buy the first whole-body CT scanner in the North East.
Sales of Come On In, written by local composer Mike Bersin, helped the Charlie Bear for Cancer Care Appeal reach its ambitious £1million target and bring the much-needed equipment to Newcastle General Hospital.
However, in June, Maggie was told she had terminal cancer and that there was no more medics could do for the mum-of-one.
The 63-year-old, who is married to John, 66, decided to once again help raise funds for Charlie Bear as it aims to buy the region’s first cyber-surgery machine.
More than 200 people packed the Usworth and Washington Gardeners Club to say goodbye to Maggie and help raise more than £1,500 for the charity.
A music and entertainment night was held by singers and bands, including Lorraine Crosby.
Maggie, who has worked as a school and college lecturer, even took to the stage herself.
“It was an amazing night, full to bursting,” she said. “I was really moved that so many people put themselves out to come and say goodbye to me and to help out the cause. Thank you to everyone who came along and who donated prizes.”
Charlie Bear was launched in 1978 to help raise the cash to buy the scanner.
The campaign reached its target in 1982 and thousands of patients have benefited.
Charlie Bear is now aiming to get £3million to buy the region’s first cyber surgery machine.
It delivers high doses of radiation to tumours that are small and not amenable to treatment by surgery or conventional radiotherapy. To donate to the Charlie Bear Cyber Surgery appeal, visit www.justgiving.com/charliebear.