The friends and family of a 26-year-old woman have raised over £20,000 so far for Salivary Gland Cancer UK.
On 3 January, Molly Midgley from Ecclesall was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC).
After a lump that formed on her eye in September started to affect her vision, Molly underwent surgery in December to have it removed and sent off for testing.
The doctors told her the only curative option would be to remove her eye, eyebrow, and cheekbone, but this surgery could not go forward when they discovered her cancer had already spread to her lungs.
Molly said: “I never thought it would be a terminal illness. I thought it would be some drastic and horrible treatment and then I would be okay, and I could get on with my life.”
Raising awareness to prevent late diagnosis
Research for ACC is limited due to the rarity of the cancer – with around 200,000 recorded cases in the world, so she says the aim is to spread awareness and prevent late diagnosis.
Her friends and family have taken part in the 5k Endcliffe parkrun every Saturday, handed out Salivary Gland Cancer UK leaflets to local businesses, and completed the Sheffield half marathon on 26 March.
Alicia Midgley, 19, said: “despite her harsh treatments and her overload of hospital appointments Molly has remained positive and had a huge involvement in the fundraising. She is a really brave person and I’m very lucky to call her my sister.”
Molly said she is “shocked” by the support behind her, from her sister-in-law’s raffle to strangers volunteering to climb Snowdon.
She said: “It can be a lonely experience to go through cancer. Nobody else can do it for or with you, so it is a nice thing that everybody is doing their bit. They can’t take the cancer off me, and they are very much aware of that, so this is their way of helping.”
Taking positive action
Previous strangers Holly Armitage, 21, and Olivia Burnham, climbed Snowdon on 6 May to raise money so Molly can afford a holiday for herself and fiancé.
Holly said: “A 14-mile walk is nothing compared to the awful news Molly has had.”
Molly wants to run more charity events in the future but must focus on her treatment first.
To support Molly and her family, donations can be made here at her JustGiving page.
For anyone affected by the issues raised in this article please visit Macmillan Cancer Support for information, guidance and resources.