Houghton mum battling ovarian cancer launches £10k fundraising drive
A Wearside mother battling ovarian cancer has targeted raising over £10,000 through a charity gala dinner and evening of entertainment at the Ramside Hall Hotel.
Ann-Marie Sproston (Annie), 44, was first diagnosed with the cancer back in August 2018 and has since undergone a hysterectomy, gruelling rounds of chemotherapy and a range of pioneering drug treatments.
After initially being given the all clear, Ann-Marie, who lives in Philadelphia, was devastated when the cancer returned. She was told the cancer was incurable but was treatable in terms of prolonging the mother of two’s life.
Determined not to be beaten, Ann-Marie has channelled her energy into raising over £27,000 for cancer charities through a range of events including coffee mornings and more recently a 50 mile sponsored bike ride in Herrington Country Park.
Along with sister Siobhan Forster, 32, she has now organised a special red carpet evening with the target of taking her fundraising to over £40,000.
Ann-Marie said: “The event is taking place in June but tickets are already on sale and we are hoping to sell 400 tickets and raise at least £10,000. Some of the events at the dinner are going to be a surprise but there will be a band and entertainment.
"There will also be an auction and we are hoping to get a a signed England shirt from Jordan Pickford who’s a friend of the family.”
Over the Christmas period, Ann-Marie went for further CT scans where she sadly discovered the cancer had spread and she now faces a course of “different chemotherapy”.
She said: “Since the diagnosis, keeping busy has kept me going and it’s helpful to be able to channel my energy into doing something positive.”
Money raised from the black tie event will be distributed between Macmillan Cancer Support, Maggies Centre Newcastle, St Benedict’s Hospice in Ryhope and Ward 21 and the Chemotherapy Ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.
Ann-Marie added: “Ward 21 and the Chemo Ward are where I’ve received my treatment. We have already donated some of the money there and it’s fantastic to see first-hand the difference it can make.”
The Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham have also done their bit to support the event by providing a red carpet welcome and function room for free as well as a one night stay at the hotel which will be part of the auction.
Sister Siobhan said: “We are massively proud of Ann-Marie’s fundraising and how she has managed her cancer diagnosis. As a family, we’d be lost without her.
"She’s my sister, best friend, idol and heroine.”
As well as the purchase of tickets, the family are hoping local businesses may be willing sponsor individual tables. Tickets for the event cost £60. Anyone who is interested in supporting the event is asked to call Siobhan on 07496000244 or email her at [email protected]
Siobhan added: “We are looking to sell the tickets now as we need to know the final numbers to confirm the booking with the hotel.”