Sunderland counselling service's fundraising ball celebrates life of campaigner

A fundraising ball in memory of a campaigner has raised thousands of pounds to help fight the illness which claimed her life.

Sunday, 27th May 2018, 12:29 pm
Updated Sunday, 27th May 2018, 12:56 pm
Guests at the MelanomaMe ball.

Mum-of-two Amanda Seymour died aged only 42 in 2017 after battling skin cancer on and off for six years.

Amanda - who feared she may have contracted the disease through overusing sunbeds in her 20s - spent her final months backing the efforts of Sunderland-based counselling service MelanomaMe.

Amanda Seymour.

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The support group and the account manager’s friends and family have now celebrated her life at a ball held at Durham’s Ramside Hall.

Nearly 120 guests raised just under £5,000 to allow MelanomaMe to pay for the cost of the counselling rooms for the next nine months.

Joint managing director Kerry Rafferty said afterwards: “It was emotional, fun and inspiring and we are even more determined to take MelanomaMe. as far and wide as possible.

“A huge massive thank you went to everyone who came and partied with us.

“They all looked fantastic and their support was and will always be invaluable and means the world to MelanomaMe.”

Amanda, from Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, died in August after the illness spread to her brain.

An account manager at chartered surveyor firm e.surv, she is survived by her husband, Vincent, and children Annabel, 12, and Joseph, 11.

Kerry, who fought melanoma herself in 2015, founded MelanomaMe with friend and joint managing director Elaine Taylor to offer preventative advice and counselling.

While melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the United Kingdom, with around 13,500 new instances a year, nearly 90 per cent of cases are deemed to be preventable.

Now based at 15 Lowthian Terrace, in Washington, staff travel throughout the region to present advice workshops to leading employers such as HMRC, BT and Barclays.

Further information is available by telephoning (0191) 4174500 or by logging on to www.melanoma-me.org.uk