UNBEKNOWN to her, Hayley Atkinson’s body was riddled with cancerous masses on all of her major organs.
The 25-year-old’s world came crashing down when doctors told her that she was fighting a particularly aggressive form of the disease that required urgent chemotherapy.
Just months after such a devastating diagnosis and with help from CLIC Sargent, the teacher from Eastleigh is winning her battle and hopes to be back at work by September.
To thank the charity for all its support, Hayley and her family raised £400 for the Daily Echo’s Every Step Appeal.
Hayley’s mum Christine, who hosted a charity plant sale at Bishopstoke Methodist Church, said: “Hayley’s diagnosis was a big shock because you just don’t expect your child to get something like that.
“But the support from CLIC Sargent has made a real difference so we wanted to do something to thank them for their continued support.”
Hayley was diagnosed in February, having felt under the weather for a few months. Since then she has undergone five sessions of chemotherapy at Southampton General Hospital, which has caused the cancerous masses on her organs to disappear. A mass remains in her chest.
As well as helping with grants for transport to and from the hospital and providing Hayley with a side room for her chemotherapy sessions, kitted out with all the latest gadgets, the charity has paid to have a natural wig made for her.
Hayley said: “Having a wig that I feel this comfortable in has helped a lot with my confidence because I wouldn’t go out without it.
“When I was diagnosed I was shocked and didn’t quite know how to react, but while the doctors give you all the long and complex diagnosis, CLIC Sargent was there to explain it in terms I could understand and that really meant a lot.
“I really hope people will get behind this campaign and help to ensure the charity is there for other patients like myself.”
Hayley’s CLIC Sargent social worker Julia Ventour said: “Well done to Hayley and her family for raising much-appreciated money for CLIC Sargent and especially for wanting to do something to help others while Hayley is still going through her treatment.”