Sunderland medical sergeant battling incurable cancer on a mission to fundraise for defibrillators as distraction from life threatening illness
A Sunderland medical sergeant diagnosed with incurable breast cancer is on a mission to fundraise for as many defibrillators as possible as a distraction against her condition.
Lesley Baker, 41, from Penshaw, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and despite being treated for the illness three times, is currently undergoing treatment for the fourth time and has been told the cancer has spread and is incurable.
Lesley works for the North East Ambulance Service in Washington and is a Medical Sgt in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers reserves, based in Newcastle.
She is currently living her life by three monthly scans where she finds out if her cancer has progressed, stabilised or shrunk.
To distract herself from the illness, Lesley has been on a mission to fundraise for the installation of defibrillators around Wearside.
Having already raised money for defibrillators at Penshaw Pharmacy and Grange Wood Care Home, Lesley is now hoping to oversee the installation of the lifesaving equipment outside The Cherry Tree, in Ayton Village.
Lesley said: “Focusing on something other than cancer has helped my mental health so much and gave me a purpose and worth in life again.
“I’ll keep fighting, take any drug or trial but every defibrillator installed along my journey will spur me on to keep living, loving and enjoying life and to stay around as long as possible for my wonderful family and friends.”
Since being diagnosed in 2015, Lesley, who lives with her partner Craig and step son Marcus, has undergone seven operations, oral chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a number of injections and infusions.
Lesley, who says she doesn't know if she’ll ever get back in uniform, loves her job at the North East Ambulance Service and enjoys teaching CPR and seeing people make a full recovery.
To raise money for the defibrillators, Lesley has been doing bonus balls, football cards and has been asking local businesses to dig deep in aid of a good cause.
Statistics showing between 300,000 and 400,000 people experience sudden cardiac arrest in a non-hospital environment every year where a defibrillator can provide life saving assistance.
Lesley is looking to raise £1350 for a defibrillator outside The Cherry Tree and can be supported by visiting her Just Giving Page.