Redbridge women’s cancer experiences inspire star-backed charity ball

Seven Redbridge women who have had cancer or lost family members to the disease hope to raise thousands of pounds with a charity ball.

The friends, including Maxine Midda, 54, of Hatley Avenue, Barkingside, who has lung cancer, have tirelessly worked on a dazzling ball, including a performance from singer Mitch Winehouse – Amy Winehouse’s father – to benefit Cancer Research UK.

The group realised two of them either have or have had cancer and started meeting regularly to arrange the evening, which takes place in High Beech, Essex on September 30.

Danielle Kerstein, 52, of Longwood Gardens, Clayhall, who lost her mother Aileen Finesilver to kidney cancer, said: “I was in denial that one of my family would have it.

“It hit me like a tonne of bricks. Everyone talks about it and how terrible it is. I thought we’re not going to talk about it, we’re going to do something.”


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Mrs Midda, who has also been treated for bowel and liver cancers, has been a key fundraiser for the group, despite enduring gruelling chemotherapy.

The friends have already raised �1,500 through ticket sales, with a quarter of sales still to collect.

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A raffle and auction to be held on the night, including signed items from TV presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, will raise further funds.

Mrs Midda, who is waiting for a further prognosis from lung specialists, said: “We’re trying to raise as much money as possible.

“It depends on how much people want to spend on the night.”

Tracey Feldman, 46, of Earlswood Gardens, Clayhall was inspired to help out after being successfully treated for paraganglomia, a rare type of tumour, and after her mother Bernice Press, 61, died of lung and brain cancer.

She said: “It’s a cause close to all our hearts.”

The charity is rewarding the women with a trip to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in east London for a laboratory tour and to meet cancer research doctors.

The sell-out night is at the Kings Oak Hotel, High Beech. Visit www.cancerresearch.org.uk to make a donation.

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