PANTO dame Berwick Kaler has presented a special Golden Wagon Wheel to a breast cancer patient after hearing about her magnificent fundraising for cancer research.

Dawn Watts, from Copmanthorpe, York,has raised more than £4,500 since being diagnosed for York Against Cancer through a sponsored head shave and a charity concert.

Dawn was watching Aladdin And The Twankeys at York Theatre Royal last Friday night.

Her proud husband, Stuart, wrote before the show to Berwick to ask him to make a dedication to a “special dame”, explaining what she had achieved so far and what she was now planning to do this year, including taking part in a charity skydive.

He said in a note which was read out to the audience by Berwick that he and Dawn, a nurse, had been going to see the panto for many years.

“Last year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has been on the journey that many others have trodden,” he said.

“She has faced the chemotherapy, the hair loss, and the surgery with great bravery, and always with a smile on her face. “Her nickname in fact has become ‘Smiler’ amongst her many friends.”

He said she had continued to think of others and had recently received confirmation she could take part in a sky dive for “Dreamflight,” a charity which sent seriously ill children on holidays of a lifetime.

“She is currently in the middle of radiotherapy and travelling every day to Leeds,” he said. “This is tiring and the side effects of the drugs she is taking are causing her a lot of pain. Yet she still smiles.

“I’d just like her to know that I am very proud of her and love her a great deal.

“I’d also like to see the smile on her face when she tries to catch a Wagon Wheel!”

Berwick throws ordinary Wagon Wheels to the audience during each show, with a special Golden one with a ribbon to someone especially deserving.

Mr Watts said afterwards it had been a great show, “made all the better by this award”.