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“Weston Park Cancer Charity is honestly unbelievable. The staff, their services, their support – everything.” – Donna’s story

In late 2023 mother-of-two Donna Taylor was leading her normal, busy, and active life when she was very sadly given the devastating diagnosis that she had stomach cancer.

In late 2023 mother-of-two Donna Taylor was leading her normal, busy, and active life when she was very sadly given the devasting diagnosis that she had stomach cancer.

Donna, aged just 45, has always lived with severe IBS so initially she put her symptoms of indigestion, stomach and some chest pain and loss of appetitedown to that. But she knew something wasn’t right. She knew her body.

Initial tests even showed that Donna had no abnormalities, but she persisted as she was feeling more and more tired, and less herself as the days went on.

After several more GP appointments and an emergency endoscopy, a tumour was found in her stomach. Donna was given her diagnosis and her life turned upside down.

Donna talks through her journey, how the diagnosis has completely changed her life and how she has used her story to set up her own charity to raise awareness for stomach cancer in younger people and to support people going through similar difficult times.

Donna said: “Cancer wasn’t even on my radar for things it could have been. I’ve had IBS my whole life, so you know, I put it down to that.

“I’m in my 40s and the symptoms also mirrored perimenopause as well as IBS. So, I didn’t worry too much. But I did know something wasn’t right.

“I was on a family holiday when I really started feeling unwell. I didn’t have an appetite at all, I felt tired, I was lethargic – and those who know me, know that’s not me at all.

“I persisted with tests, but at first, they didn’t find anything. I knew something wasn’t right so after more GP appointments, I had an emergency endoscopy. That’s when they found the tumour in my stomach.”

Donna talks about her diagnosis.

She said: “Honestly, nothing prepares you for that moment when you’re told you have cancer. Even to the day of diagnosis, cancer hadn’t even crossed my mind. I didn’t tick any of the normal boxes for stomach cancer. I am in my early 40s, a fit and healthy person.

“My life changed instantly. I had no idea how to process what I had been told.

“I have a zest for life, so it wasn’t very me to lie around and let it consume me. I needed to do something good, something had to come out of this that was good. I want a legacy.

“So that’s when I decided to set up ‘Dee’s Tummy Cancer UK’ – a charity to raise awareness and provide support for people going through a stomach cancer diagnosis.”

Donna’s ‘Dee's Tummy Cancer UK’ has been set up in partnership with Weston Park Hospital Development Fund and Cavendish Cancer Care.

Determined to make a difference, Donna has launched several fundraising events and initiatives for 2024.

She said: “I needed to find purpose in my diagnosis, so not only have I set up the charity, but I have also set up fundraising events for everyone to get involved in. Events include a race night, a bingo night and my own ‘Donna’s Disco’ – which I’m so excited about!”

Donna is passionate about not just raising awareness around stomach cancer, but also wants to ensure no one feels alone.

She said: “Cancer can feel isolating. I felt alone when I was diagnosed. I didn’t want to burden my family, and I wanted to remain strong for everyone else. Through my charity I want to help provide a safe space where people can talk to others going through the same thing. We’re in this together.’

Donna praises Weston Park Cancer Charity and the support they have given her.

“Weston Park Cancer Charity is honestly unbelievable. The staff, their services, their support – everything. I am so grateful for their help in introducing me to their development fund that has enabled me to set up Dee’s Tummy Cancer UK and I know that together, we can help make a difference.”

Donna has already started fundraising and has recently donated £3445.22 to us as part of her latest charity efforts. Thank you so much Donna and we wish you well in the rest of your charity endeavours!

Follow Dee’s Tummy Cancer UK on Instagram for updates from Donna and get information on upcoming charity fundraisers.

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