Brighouse couple to hold fundraising fair after life-saving cancer screening

Richard and Julia Waddington.
Richard and Julia Waddington.

A Brighouse couple are hoping to highlight the importance of bowel cancer screening while raising vital funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research when they host a charity craft fair and live music event later this month.

Grandparents Richard and Julia Waddington decided to organise their first charity fundraiser following Richard’s experience with bowel cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease after returning his free bowel cancer testing kit in the post.

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Bowel cancer screening is offered to men and women aged 60 to 74. Those invited are asked to collect a small sample of poo and post it to a laboratory so it can be checked for tiny amounts of blood, which can be a sign of bowel cancer.

Since first being invited at the age of 60, Richard had completed and returned his kit. His results had always come back normal, but in December 2017, he was invited for further tests.

A full body scan confirmed he not only had bowel cancer, but lung cancer too.

Richard, now 74, said: “I had no symptoms at all so it was a huge shock. It knocked both of us sideways. When you hear the word cancer you immediately think death. The worst thing is not knowing what’s going to happen.”

Richard received chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, before having surgery to remove part of his lung. He is now in remission.

Richard said: “Bowel screening didn’t just save me once – it saved me twice. If I hadn’t done the test, there might not have been anything to say I had cancer until it started to cause problems, and then it could have been too late.

“The screening test is something you can do in private. Nobody else needs to be involved. Early detection can save your life, and if multiple cancers are found, it can save your life many times over.”

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The couple’s Autumn Craft Fair and Live Music event will take place at Bailiff Bridge and Community Centre on Saturday, November 16. The craft fair, taking place from 10:30am to 4:30pm, will feature a variety of stalls including handmade cards, ceramics, wood turning and paintings.

There will also be a raffle, tombola, refreshments and face painting.

Later in the evening, Halifax band ‘In Echoes’ will perform live, playing hits from throughout the decades, and there will be a raffle and auction.

Julia added: “When something like this happens you re-evaluate your life. You suddenly realised you’re not immortal. We’re so thankful that Richard was able to be diagnosed early and receive such brilliant treatment, and that’s the reason we’re holding this event.

“We want to raise as much as possible for Yorkshire Cancer Research. But we also need to get the message out there that early diagnosis saves lives. We want more people in Yorkshire to survive cancer.”

For tickets to see ‘In Echoes’, please call 07957 816226 or email juliaw.jw52@gmail.com. For more information about Yorkshire Cancer Research, please visit www.ycr.org.uk.

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