Silence is golden for cancer survivor who raised £1,500 for charity

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NHS worker Debra Smith was lost for words after raising almost £1,500 for charity.

The domestic assistant at South Tyneside District Hospital did a sponsored silence in aid of Daft as a Brush.

The charity offers a free transport service to and from the Freeman and Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospitals in Newcastle for cancer outpatients from across the region and beyond, who are undergoing treatment.

Mum-of-two Mrs Smith, 55, from South Shields, found out in 2015 that she had breast cancer.

After surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead and chemotherapy at South Tyneside, Daft as a Brush provided transport every day for 15 days so she could have radiotherapy at the Freeman Hospital.

She said: “They are absolutely fantastic, and without their help I don’t know how I could have got to Newcastle and back so often.

“It was so stress-free. They came to pick me up and, as soon as my treatment was finished, they took me home without me having to wait around.

“I wanted to do something to give back and show my appreciation.

“I’m a good talker and everybody takes the mickey out of me for it, so I decided to do a sponsored silence.

“ It was only for six hours, but no one believed I could do it – and the money just came rolling in from family members, friends and colleagues.

“I was amazed when I got £1,140 in sponsorship, with the rest of the money coming from people paying £1 for a domino card game.”

Daft as a BrushfounderBrian Burnie said: “Debra is a lovely lady. Taking her to and from hospital was a real pleasure as she was a real chatterbox.”