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Cancer mums launch new childcare charity
TWO York mums who survived cancer have launched a new charity to help other sufferers with the cost of childcare.
Diana Hodgson, 32, of Monkgate, and Carol Lillingston, of Bishopthorpe Road, were both told they were in remission last year.
They have now launched Parents With Cancer, inspire by their own experiences of the disease.
Diana underwent a bone marrow transplant for Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia in early 2011 when her son, Alfie, was 18 months old. She was diagnosed in 2008 when pregnant.
Diana was in hospital for a month and said she found the separation from her family, particularly her young son who was unable to visit her, very difficult.
She said she was lucky to have an excellent support system during this time and she and her husband, David, were able to provide Alfie with full-time child care while David continued to work.
She said: “I’m well aware of how lucky we were to be able to do this.
“We looked in to provisions that were made for families who may struggle to make ends meet during their treatments and realised that not a great deal of support exists for families who may not qualify for government benefits.”
In the aftermath of her hospital treatment, a mutual friend introduced Diana to Carol, who was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 months ago.
“Her situation was a lot different to mine,” said Diana. “She was a self-employed single mother and immediately her income stopped. She relied on food parcels from friends to get by.”
Together they launched the charity to help ease the burden that cancer can place on a family.
“Being diagnosed can change everything and money can become tighter if you are unable to work or need assistance with looking after your children.”
The charity will provide grants to help fund childcare during treatment, and allow partners to continue working.
“Sometimes it can be as little as not having the energy to walk your child to school and needing help with childcare for that,” said Diana.
She and Carol will both take part in the Jane Tomlinson 10k in York on August 5 to raise money and awareness for the charity.
For more information or to donate, visit parentswithcancer.org.uk
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