A kind-hearted Wiganer is putting on a glitzy masquerade ball to thank the borough’s NHS for the cancer care provided to her mum.
Victoria Leach is putting on the glamorous black tie and masks event at the DW Stadium this weekend and hopes to raise around £1,500 for the Wigan Cancer Care Centre.
Victoria was spurred into action after her mum Carole Holland, from Newtown, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She had an operation to remove the tumour followed by chemotherapy in Wigan and radiotherapy in Salford and is currently awaiting the results of post-treatment scans.
The level of care experienced left the family determined to give something back and Victoria hit on the idea of the masquerade ball.
Carole, 59, said: “The ball was Victoria’s idea. She’s a good organiser.
“We can’t really do enough to give back for all the good treatment. I had chemotherapy at the new centre at Wigan Infirmary and also saw the breast care nurses at the Thomas Linacre Centre. They were all absolutely brilliant.
“It’s like a family. You’re in a horrible situation but when you get there they are so pleasant and they just look after you.
“Getting the diagnosis was such a shock. At first you think why me but then you realise little children have got cancer as well and they’ve done nothing to deserve it. That puts it into perspective and you just get on with it, one stage at a time.
“I’ve made such good friends and you talk to anyone new coming in. Seeing how many people are there though is shocking. Everyone you speak to has a mother or brother or sister or friend going through it.
“One lady I made friends with there recently passed away. That was hard because we went through it together. She came to see me when I was having treatment and I came to see her.
“I used to take little hampers of fruit and chocolate in for the staff. They deserve recognition because they work so hard.”
Victoria, who now works as a teacher in Warrington, said: “When my mum got to the end of her treatment I just thought I wanted to do something to celebrate her finishing and to raise money for the hospital’s charity.
“Obviously it wasn’t very nice when she was going through the treatment. She’s the strongest person in the family and she was quite poorly with it and wasn’t able to really do anything.
“They were really nice and caring at the hospital. My mum only had good things to say about them.
“I decided on a masquerade ball because I like fancy dress and it also makes it that extra bit special. It’s an event rather than just a get-together.”
This weekend’s ball at the home of Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors is being sponsored by Carole’s son John Murphy, who runs a sports supplements shop in Orrell.
Carole told how she would get herself out of the house during some of the more difficult days of her treatment and sit in the shop making coffee and helping out to revive her spirits.
Carole, of Laithwaite Road, has been supported throughout by her family of husband Terry, Victoria, John and her other daughter Mary Murphy, who works as a nurse.
Her treatment has lasted around a year since the original diagnosis in July 2017.
The fund-raiser includes a three-course meal, live music from a singer, a DJ, raffles and a silent auction.
Victoria Leach’s masquerade ball at the DW Stadium for Wigan Cancer Care Centre is on Saturday October 6. Tickets are still available priced at £35 and can be booked by emailing email@example.com
Donations for the Wigan Cancer Care Centre can also be made by contacting Janet Pennington on 01942 773768 or emailing Threewishescharity@wwl.nhs.uk