Cancer sufferer's weddng gift to charity

TWO years ago, Jean Outram's world turned upside down when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.She spent months in and out of hospital, receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, but the determined 67-year-old never gave up hope of beating the disease.

TWO years ago, Jean Outram's world turned upside down when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She spent months in and out of hospital, receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, but the determined 67-year-old never gave up hope of beating the disease.

And when she got married last month, she decided to try and help other sufferers by turning down wedding gifts in favour of money.

Mrs Outram, of Crockfords Road in Newmarket, now plans to give the £1,660 she received from friends and family to the Macmillan unit at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.


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“I had just turned 65, and had only been retired from my job as a nurse for two weeks when I discovered a lump in my breast,” said Mrs Outram, who married her partner of four-and-a-half years, Martin, on September 9.

“It was a real shock, but I tried to stay positive and always thought to myself 'I am going to beat this'.”

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Mrs Outram had a mastectomy following her diagnosis in February 2004, before going through months of chemotherapy at West Suffolk Hospital, followed by radiotherapy at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

“I lost my hair, and I felt very tired and did not have the energy to do much, so I just did what I could and took each day as it came,” she said.

“Some days I felt better than others, but Martin was absolutely fantastic and so supportive. He insisted he came to every chemotherapy session with me, and was always by my side.”

Mr and Mrs Outram got married at Worlington Hall, followed by a barn dance in the evening.

“It was a double celebration because it was Martin's 60th birthday on September 4, and we had such a fantastic day,” said Mrs Outram.

“We had already discussed wedding gifts, and we decided there was nothing we needed. So rather than ending up with things we wouldn't use, we asked people to donate money to the hospital instead.

“People thought it was a wonderful idea, and I am so grateful to everyone who gave me money.

“The Macmillan unit wasn't at the hospital when I was receiving my treatment, but it is a fantastic place and I hope the money can be put to good use, and help other sufferers who are going through the same thing I did.”

Jan Brittain , information services manager at the Macmillan unit - which was opened in February last year - said she was overwhelmed by Mrs Outram's gesture.

“It is an amazing amount of money, and we are really grateful to Jean,” she said. “We are going to have a chat to see exactly what the money can be used for. It just goes to show that there is life after breast cancer, and I think it is a great message for women everywhere.”

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