Gail braves seven challenges for new cancer and wellbeing centre appeal

Gail Stoneman (second right) with (from left): mother-in-law Margaret Stoneman; friend Tim Garrett and mum Yvonne Elston.
Gail Stoneman (second right) with (from left): mother-in-law Margaret Stoneman; friend Tim Garrett and mum Yvonne Elston.

A North Devon woman who is currently receiving chemotherapy is determined to raise thousands-of-pounds for a new cancer and wellbeing centre appeal.

A Chulmleigh woman battling cancer has decided to take on seven fundraising challenges this year for Over and Above.

Gail Stoneman, 41, is hoping she can raise thousands-of-pounds for a new £1.5million cancer and wellbeing centre in North Devon.

Gail is supporting the charity’s appeal, with the main event an auction of promises at Chulmleigh Golf Course on Saturday, October 7.

The idea for the seven challenges came to mark the seventh year since she was first diagnosed with ovarian and endometrial cancers.

Gail, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the Seamoor Unit at North Devon District Hospital, is determined nothing will stop her.

“The cancer is not going away, but I just keep on going; I like to keep busy,” she said.

“When I was having treatment one day, the machine started leaking, and initially I wanted to raise money to fund a new one.

“But when I heard about the new appeal I wanted to fundraise for that instead, as they told me the machine could be recovered.

“I’ve been to the Force centre in Exeter and it was brilliant.

“It was so peaceful and nice to just have a cup of tea and chat to people. But Exeter is a long way and we really do need this new centre in North Devon.”

Gail has so far accrued more than 50 different lots for her auction, including tickets for the Exeter Chiefs, a two-night stay in a French bed-and-breakfast, a trip to Padstow, and even a sausage-making course.

She has also enlisted the help of her friends and family to pull of her seven fundraisers.

Family friend Tim Garrett kicked things off by running the Bristol Half Marathon last week in two hours, four minutes, raising more than £400.

Gail is still planning the next five events, but hopes they will include a cake sale, a coffee morning and a motor scavenge.

She added: “It’s been a bit daunting taking this on, but I am so amazed by how generous everyone has been.”

The auction of promises opens on October 7 at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. For more information contact Gail on gailauction@gmail.com.

For more information on Over and Above contact the Hospital Fundraising Team on 01271 311772 or ndht.charity@nhs.net.

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