Terminally-ill woman’s family set for Fenland trek to raise money for cancer treatment

DETERMINED fundraisers will trek more than 20 miles across Fenland on Saturday in an effort to send a terminally-ill cancer sufferer to Australia for treatment.

Almost 100 people are set to walk from Whittlesey to Earith - about 23 miles - in the first of several fundraising events for Leanne Gray, 30, from Cambridge.

Miss Gray has been battling salivary gland cancer since 2005. Despite having operations to remove them, tumours have spread to her skull, sinus, lymph gland and scalp. Last summer, she was told she had less than a year to live.

But the newly-engaged Miss Gray has defied predictions and now hopes to raise enough money to begin alternative treatment. Her family and friends, many of whom live across Fenland, are determined to do whatever they can to help.

Amanda Tribe, Miss Gray’s’s aunt from Whittlesey, said: “It’s hard sitting back and watching. You just feel helpless. We want to do our bit.

“We want to raise this money to give her that little bit of hope. She wanted to start a family and we will do all we can to give her some time and quality of life. “You don’t realise just how many people out there are willing to help. I couldn’t believe the response. I had people banging on my door for sponsorship forms.

“It would mean the world to me to raise the money. I would be speechless. If we can prolong her life it would be worth more than anything. Nobody can buy that.”

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The walkers, accompanied by Miss Gray, will set out from Whittlesey at 5am, hoping to reach their destination - The Old Riverview Inn in Earith - by 5pm. A separate group of walkers are hiking from Cambridge to Earith.

Miss Gray’s 81-year-old godmother will be completing the route by car, spurring the walkers on.

To begin alternative treatment called Vitamin C Therapy, Miss Gray requires �5,000. The therapy in Australia would cost around �14,000. So far, she has raised just over �2,000.

Miss Gray, who still works part-time as a receptionist, said: “I’ve never even met a lot of the people who are helping to raise money.

“Everyone has been fantastic. I never really imagined anything like this. From the moment I said I was looking at alternative treatments my family started thinking of ways to help me.

“They didn’t think I would be here for Christmas and I have tried to stay positive. Everyone has been great and hopefully I will get to meet lots of the people who have been helping me on the walk.”

A fundraising disco has also been organised for April 22 at Whitemoor Social Club, in March. Tickets cost �8.50, with entertainment, buffet and a raffle planned. For tickets call 01945 461585. To donate online visit: www.justgiving.com/leanne-gray

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