Woman diagnosed with breast cancer days after discovering pregnancy raises £6,000 for Ipswich Hospital Blossom Appeal

Jo Hardwick has raised £6150 for the Blossom Appeal at Ipswich Hospital. L-R Kim Collingridge, Juli

Jo Hardwick has raised £6150 for the Blossom Appeal at Ipswich Hospital. L-R Kim Collingridge, Julie Calcluth, Jo and Henry Hardwick, Miss Mortimer, Bridget Anderson, Judith Berrill and Mary Foulger. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer just days after discovering she was pregnant has raised more than £6,000 for the Ipswich Hospital Charity’s Blossom Appeal.

Jo Hardwick, who has raised £6150 for the Blossom Appeal at Ipswich Hospital, with her little boy He

Jo Hardwick, who has raised £6150 for the Blossom Appeal at Ipswich Hospital, with her little boy Henry. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Jo Hardwick, 35, from Occold, held a ‘camel race night’ at Debenham Community Centre on Saturday, February 3, to raise cash for the charity’s appeal, which will be put towards its finding of a new breast cancer clinic.

In 2016 Mrs Hardwick was diagnosed with breast cancer having discovered she was pregnant two days before.

She said the ‘amazing’ care she received from staff spurred her on to raise as much money as possible, and to shine a light on the great work they do.

“In 2016 I found out I was pregnant and then two days later was diagnosed with breast cancer so this appeal is very close to my heart, she said.

Jo Hardwick, who has raised £6150 for the Blossom Appeal at Ipswich Hospital, with her little boy He

Jo Hardwick, who has raised £6150 for the Blossom Appeal at Ipswich Hospital, with her little boy Henry. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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“The staff at Ipswich Hospital, I can’t explain how amazing they were - they were fantastic - so as soon as I saw it was raising money for a new cancer clinic I thought ‘lets get out thinking caps on.”

“I wasn’t able to have my operation until I was 12 weeks pregnant.

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“Afterwards, results came in on my lymph nodes and thankfully it hadn’t spread, the operation had been completely successful.

“The fact I would have a baby at the end of it was something to focus on during that horrible situation.”

Her son Henry is now eight months old.

The camel race night, which attracted more than 200 people, saw a number ‘jockeys’ each pick a wooden camel and then pull a rope as fast as they could to drag their steed across the finishing line.

Punters could then bet on the races, with all proceeds going to the Blossom Appeal.

Mrs Hardwick added she had no idea the race would raise so much for the charity. She thanked her mother Bridget Anderson, who helped out with the event planning.

“We were overwhelmed by the support,” said Mrs Hardwick,

Jessica Watson, from the Ipswich Hospital Charity team, said: “We would normally expect £500 to £1,000 from an event like this so to raise more than £6,000 is incredible. It will boost our Blossom appeal and our hope of creating a new breast cancer unit.

“We would like to say a big thank you to Jo and all those who helped.”

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