A fund set up to urgently raise £10,000 for a young Calder Valley mum to get specialist treatment for a rare form of cancer was boosted by an indoor fete at Mytholmroyd Community Centre last Saturday.
More than £1,000 was raised to help Stephanie Dempsey to a specialist clinic in France which specialises in treating renal medullary carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer which mainly affects young people with sickle cell trait.
Stephanie, 22, mum to three-year-old Kenley, is undergoing regular cancer treatment but was well enough to attend the event for a while, said her sister Jade Glover. The former Calder High School pupil, of Luddenden Foot, who has also lived in Todmorden, is being treated for the cancer in Leeds but Jade said the specialist centre could make a big difference.
Stephanie and her family have been supported by American Cora Connor, who runs website www.rmcsupport.org, offering information to help understand the rare condition and whose brother Herman had been successfully treated by a US specialist. As well as fundraising for treatment Stephanie’s family an friends aim to raise awareness of the condition, a form of cancer rarely seen.
With the fun event at Mytholmroyd Community Centre including everything from printing your own t-shirts and badges to sponsored body waxing via stalls, games, raffles and tombolas - with some volunteers taking a soaking at the wet sponge stall - it proved a huge success. More events are planned, with a special “Steph-E-Oke” karaoke night at The Duke Of York, Todmorden, on Friday, September 29, from 7pm onwards - £2 a song.
Jade said: “It went really well and we raised more than £1,000. It was hectic, very busy and quite full at one point. It was lovely to see everyone turn up. Stephanie was fine for the first couple of hours but then we sat her in a wheelchair, where someone put some glitter in her hair for her. Over the past few weeks the campaign has kicked forward more and people have started doing things to help, such as raffles. We have a sponsored heade shave coming up in Todmorden which already has about £400 in sponsorship,” she said.
Read more about Stephanie’s case on the Gofundme site - https://www.gofundme.com/please-help-stephanie - and read more on Facebook where the page www.facebook.com/stephsarmy where there are updates and promotes renal medullary cancer awareness.