MARIE Curie nurse, Caroline Leslie, and her friend, Sandra Wilkinson, both from York, reeled in more than £1,000 during a 24-hour fishathon that they staged on the riverbank of the Ouse.

Caroline’s husband, Mark Leslie, and friend Phil Potter, who are both keen fishermen, cast their lines on the river at Blue Bridge Lane in York while Caroline and Sandra were on the riverbanks collecting from generous passers-by and sharing personal stories.

Caroline explained: “We had a fantastic day and night on the river Ouse at Blue Bridge in York where we held our 24-hour fishathon fundraiser for Marie Curie. The sun was shining on us and everybody dug deep. We were overwhelmed with the level of support we received from friends and strangers. A massive thank you to everyone who has helped and contributed in any way.”

In Caroline’s seventh year working as a nurse for Marie Curie, she met Sandra Wilkinson whilst providing overnight care for her husband Roger. Roger was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2016 and was cared for at home by Marie Curie nurses in the final stages of his life until he died in April 2018.

In November 2018, Sandra and Caroline signed up to a sponsored trek in Cambodia to fundraise for the charity. With less than a month to go before they depart for Asia, they have raised more than £10,000. Throughout the trip they will explore one of the great wonders of the world, Angkor Wat, and get a first-hand glimpse of local Cambodian culture in this unique challenge trekking through small rural villages to dazzling green rice-paddies and jungles dotted with temples and ancient ruins.

Sandra’s husband, Roger Wilkinson, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2016. The disease took hold quickly and Roger lost the ability to walk, move his arms, use his hands and, towards the end, he was unable to speak.

Sandra explained: “It was our choice for Roger to stay at home throughout his illness and Marie Curie facilitated this wish. The nurses helped me to take care of Roger several nights a week and even made it possible for me to go and get my groceries. Sadly, Roger passed away in April 2018 and I cannot explain the grief I felt. Caroline was not only there as a member of the Marie Curie team, she helped me through the dark times ahead.”

Caroline and Sandra have since forged a special friendship and embarked on a series of fundraising events together including tombolas and car boots. The pinnacle of their voluntary work will be the Cambodia challenge which consists of up to eight hours trekking per day and sleeping under the stars.

To read more about Caroline and Sandra’s story or to make a donation online, visit: