Mum who fought cancer after appendicitis saved her life raises £11,000

Katy Stephenson

Katy Stephenson at her event raising money for Target Ovarian Cancer - Credit: Chris Rawlings

A Suffolk mum-of-two has raised £11,000 in an old-fashioned glitz and glam auction event. 

Katy Stephenson is still watching her "energy levels" since being given the all-clear following her cancer treatment but wanted to push women to recognise the symptoms of ovarian cancer after she only found out she had stage one thanks to her appendicitis. 

Her classic symptoms of stage one ovarian cancer - frequent urination, feeling bloated, and full very quickly - were put down to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) until Katy, an associate director at Savills in Ipswich, was rushed to hospital in December 2020

The barn decorated for Katy Stephenson's Target Ovarian Cancer event

The barn decorated for Katy Stephenson's Target Ovarian Cancer event - Credit: Chris Rawlings

"The symptoms are very, very normal symptoms, which get passed off as perimenopausal or IBS and people don't investigate them, and therefore women don't get diagnosed early enough," she explained. 

She feels grateful she pushed doctors and said: "I wouldn't have reached 50 let's be honest."

She said women need to push for a CA125 blood test, ultrasound and scan and "not take no for an answer".

Businesses, friends and family turned out for Katy Stephenson's Target Ovarian Cancer event

Businesses, friends and family turned out for Katy Stephenson's Target Ovarian Cancer event - Credit: Chris Rawlings


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Following her recovery, she held a charity dinner and auction on October 2 at Suffolk Barn, Hawstead, not far from her Bury St Edmunds home, for charity Target Ovarian Cancer. 

Katy wants to raise awareness of this disease which sees 7,400 women diagnosed in the UK each year, according to Target Ovarian Cancer. 

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One in five women when diagnosed will be too ill for treatment, the charity adds, meaning early detection is key.  

Businesses, friends and family turned out for Katy Stephenson's Target Ovarian Cancer event

Businesses, friends and family turned out for Katy Stephenson's Target Ovarian Cancer event - Credit: Chris Rawlings

Friends, family and businesses including Lacy, Scott & Knight, Savills, Bedfords, Flempton Golf Club, Nethergate Wines and Mauldons Brewery all contributed to make her event a success. 

She said: "The event was fantastic, the atmosphere was brilliant, very happy, positive and everyone was so encouraging and generous."

Her return to work has also been great, despite still suffering the after-effects of treatment at West Suffolk Hospital and in Cambridge. 

Katy Stephenson with supporters during her Target Ovarian Cancer event

Katy Stephenson with supporters during her Target Ovarian Cancer event - Credit: Chris Rawlings

She added: "Being back at work is great, really enjoying the sense of normality it has brought me and working with my colleagues again is great fun. I am having to watch my energy levels and manage myself as I still get exhausted quickly if I am not careful but everyone at work is being very supportive, which helps enormously.

"Personally, spending time with the family, friends and walking our dog Pip is helping me with keeping things at a steady, slow pace too."

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