Cradley Heath cancer survivor puts best foot forward to say thanks to charity

Cancer survivor Jo Coley completes a sponsored walk to raise money for the Paul Ackrill Fund.

Cancer survivor Jo Coley completes a sponsored walk to raise money for the Paul Ackrill Fund.

First published in News

A CRADLEY Heath cancer survivor has raised more than £600 as a thank you to a charity which helped her during her illness.

Jo Coley staged a seven mile sponsored walk from Russells Hall Hospital to Overend Methodist Mission in Cradley on Saturday December 1 to raise the cash for the Paul Ackrill Fund.

The charity was started by Gill Ackrill in memory of her 24-year-old son Paul who died from bone cancer in 2001 and gives grants of up to £500 to support young cancer sufferers during their treatment.

It helped Jo, who is in remission from Hodgkins Lymphoma, when she was receiving chemotherapy at Russells Hall.

The 27-year-old, of Trejon Road, said: “It is a wonderful charity.

“I went from going from working full-time to having to take a big drop in income - so to have that support behind me was amazing.

“I just wanted to give something back to say thank you. ”

Jo and eight supporters completed the walk, arriving at the church during its Christmas fair.

They received sponsorship from friends, family and church members as well as Sandwell Cycles.

Jo was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma after developing lumps on her arm and in her armpit. She had the lumps for five years before doctors discovered they were cancerous.

She finished six months of chemotherapy in August and is in remission and planning to return to work at Tesco in Cradley Heath in January.

Jo said: “If it hadn’t been for the love and support of people around me - my family and friends - I don’t know where I would be now.”

Former Halesowen College student Paul, lived in Brierley Hill. He had his right arm and shoulder amputated but lost his battle with cancer.

The fund has given out £132,000 to cancer sufferers under 30 to help with basic expenses such as transport for treatment and car parking.

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