An inspirational Sheffield mum diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer is urging people to donate to the epilepsy charity she founded, to ensure money continues to be collected as she steps back from fundraising to battle the disease.
Sandra Howard, who has helped to raise £3.8million since 1995 to help people living with epilepsy through her charity Fable, was told by medics that she had an incurable form of cancer in November.
Sarah Osborne-Green, Operations Manager at Fable, said: "After a bout of pneumonia and a hospital visit to drain fluid off her collapsed lung, Sandra was given the devastating news that the fluid which was tested included cancerous cells, a number of tests were done and Sandra was sadly told the news that everyone dreads, that her cancer was incurable.
"The team at Fable Charity and Sandra’s family and friends are stunned, sad, upset, and angry as never in their wildest dreams thought that Sandra would be facing something as devastating as this and I cannot imagine how Sandra herself must be feeling or coping with the biggest fight she has got on her hands."
Following her diagnosis Sandra has now turned her attention to a new fundraising page, through which she hopes to raise £21,000.
A total of 90 per cent of the money raised will go towards Fable, to ensure that money continues to come in for people living with epilepsy while she fights the disease.
The remaining 10 per cent will be used to fund a number of holistic therapy treatments and a specialist diet for Sandra, to help her have a quality of life for as long as possible.
Sarah added: “Because of Sandra’s caring nature and dedication to Fable, she feels guilty she cannot work as often as she did to raise funds for the charity, therefore she has set up a crowdfunding page to hopefully raise £21,000.00 which is £1000 for every year she has worked so tirelessly to take the charity forward.
"If you can make a donation to Sandra’s appeal, we would be very grateful. If you can pledge your support to the campaign, by either arranging your own fundraising event, organising a dress down day at work, run a marathon or any other type of sponsored event I would love to hear from you and can help you wherever I can to assist you with your fundraising.
"I personally have an awful lot of admiration for Sandra, who is such an inspiration woman who always puts other first. I will be doing whatever fundraising I can do personally over and above my normal duties at Fable and have agreed to take part in an organised fire walk event to raise money for Sandra’s appeal. If you would like to be part of my team to do this then please contact me for details."
Sandra set up Fable because her son, Gareth, was severely epileptic and suffered as many as 15 major fits a day.
When she discovered that a revolutionary new treatment, the vagal nerve stimulator implant, was not available on the NHS, she decided to set up Fable to raise the money herself.
After Gareth’s condition improved, she set up Fable - For A Better Life with Epilepsy - to help other families, and won the very first Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year award back in 1999.
Anyone wishing to donate to Sandra's appeal, can do so here.