Beccles grandmother battling cancer launches new bid for funds

Nanna Lay is organising a sixties event for charity while battling breast cancer.

Nanna Lay is organising a sixties event for charity while battling breast cancer. - Credit: Nick Butcher

After discovering that some close friends had been diagnosed with cancer Nanna Lay decided to raise money for a charity supporting the disease.

Her hula hooping with fire challenge netted her more than £6,000, which she donated to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s Targeted Radiotherapy Appeal.

But in a cruel twist of fate the Beccles grandmother found out just months later she too had cancer and would go on to use the facilities that she had fundraised for.

Having just completed a gruelling course of chemotherapy and about to start a block of radiotherapy, Mrs Lay is full of positivity and ready for her next money making venture.

She is holding a sixties night at Pakefield Church Hall, in Lowestoft, tomorrow to give a radiotherapy consulting room a makeover.

She said: “I asked the fundraising team what was on their wish list. I had identified the need for heat pads used during chemotherapy and they mentioned mattresses for CT scanners to me, which I have already raised an extra £2,500 for, but I still wanted to do something else.

“They showed me this room and it’s pretty dismal. We are going to turn it into something really special with new furniture and artwork, which is going to reflect the presence of a window as there isn’t one.”

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Mrs Lay found a lump in her breast in mid April and was operated on a month later, with all cancer removed. Although it was caught early, the aggressive nature of the cancer meant further treatment was necessary.

“Fundraising is definitely beneficial to me,” she said. “It keeps my focus and gives me a chance to give something back.

“I’ve been very pleased with the way the hospital has looked after me and I like the fact I am raising money for a local cause.

“The thing I’ve found the hardest is not being in charge of my own destiny, not being able to travel or plan anything as I didn’t know what was round the corner.

“I feel amazing though. I feel incredibly lucky to have kept my hair and now I’m raring to go.”

Mark Rose, radiotherapy manager at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital said the staff were genuinely proud of Mrs Lay and her achievements.

“Her fundraising activities and donations have ensured our patients can have a much more comfortable experience of their care at what can be such a difficult time in their lives,” he said. “Nanna is a truly unique individual.”

Tickets for the sixties evening cost £10 per person and includes food and music from Circa 64. There will also be an auction of goods and promises including a holiday in Cyprus. It will be run by professional auctioneer Rebecca Mayhew, who is currently in remission for breast cancer.

For tickets call Mrs Lay on 07986873856, email or call The Ferini Gallery in Pakefield on 01502 562322.