Pals give Lorraine a leg-up

Lorraine with her dogs Mitzi and Franky
Lorraine with her dogs Mitzi and Franky

A cancer-suffering Wigan woman recovering from a leg amputation is to receive a top-of-the-range prosthetic limb thanks to a generous fund-raising drive.

Friends and family have raised over £6,000 for Lorraine Bailey’s artificial limb, after she had her right leg removed below the knee to prevent an aggressive tumour spreading from her foot.

I’d been struggling for months but I never thought for one minute I had cancer

Lorraine Bailey

Lorraine was diagnosed in March with sarcoma, a rare cancer that affects the tissues which support and protect the body’s organs.

“It was a difficult time,” she said. “I’d been struggling for months but I never thought for one minute I had cancer.”

When the tumours were eventually found, the 33-year-old from Hindley faced a choice between intensive therapy or a foot amputation.

The news floored her, and her misery was compounded when doctors then revealed they would in fact have to amputate her leg because the cancer was spreading so aggressively.

She underwent a three-hour operation at Manchester Royal Infirmary at the beginning of April, and is now undergoing regular screenings to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread to her chest - a common occurrence for those with sarcoma.

Lorraine is a keen charity fund-raiser herself and was left devastated by the realisation that her cancer could stall her selfless plans.

She said: “I do a lot of fund-raising at work and at home. I like to help dog charities and also helping the homeless.”

But after hearing of her plight, colleagues, family and friends turned the tables on Lorraine and made her the subject of their own heartwarming fund-raising.

They have mustered up more than £6,000 towards measurements, metal work and customisation of the artificial leg.

The Tesco worker said: “My manager Amanda came to me and asked me what I needed. She said I’d helped them out so much that now they needed to help me.”

Lorraine was overwhelmed by the generosity of those around her, whose astonishing efforts mean that she will be able to return to doing what she loves most - walking her beloved dogs Mitzi and Franky.

Lorraine said: “Being an amputee is not cheap, so I really want to thank my co-workers, my family and my friends because they’ve done so much for me.”

A host of other events are planned to support Lorraine’s journey, including a fun day at Tesco Hindley on Saturday.