Cancer victim thanks wellwishers following donations

Jill Hazzard with her new washing machin. Picture: Greg Macvean

Jill Hazzard with her new washing machin. Picture: Greg Macvean

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WHEN she was diagnosed with bowel cancer, life looked bleak for Jill Hazzard.

After giving up her dream job as a make-up artist to prepare for treatment, she spent every night worrying about how she was going to pay the rent and buy basics for her children.

But after her story touched the hearts of readers when it appeared in the Evening News, hundreds of donations flooded in from across the country for the mother-of-two.

A local business even gave her a new washing machine – free of charge.

“I’m so overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity,” Jill said.

“I will never be able to thank everyone enough. No-one will ever understand quite how much I appreciate this.”

Last week, we told how Jill’s friend set up a JustGiving page in her honour, after she had spent weeks worrying about money issues following her shock diagnosis earlier this year.

The 33 year-old, who formerly worked behind the Lancome counter in Ocean Terminal, has just finished six weeks of intensive radiotherapy and a course of chemotherapy tablets in a bid to shrink a tumour found in her bowel in May so doctors can operate.

Despite being initially embarrassed by the fundraising page, Jill was overwhelmed when it raised almost £5000 in just 24 hours – a total that now exceeds £7000.

Jill, from Tranent, said: “There’s so many people I’d love to thank personally.

“As well as the fundraising page, a few of my friends have even organised charity events for me, including a ladies day, a charity football match and a fitness day that will be taking place over the next month or so.

“The local community have been supportive too.

“The other day my washing machine door broke. A local business noticed a conversation about it on Facebook and asked me to go down to the shop and pick a new one. I couldn’t believe it, everyone has been so kind. I’m so grateful.”

Jill, who also wishes to thank her mum Jeanette Hazzard for all her support, said she would find out if her treatment had been successful on September 8.

She said: “I’m pleased to have the dates in for my scans but I’m worried for the outcome. I’m trying to stay positive. I was so nervous about telling my story but now I’m pleased I have. I wanted to raise awareness of bowel cancer and about being persistent with your GP if you think something is wrong.”

Julie Steedman, of Tranent-based Bisset & Steedman Ltd, who supplied Jill’s washing machine, said: “We are a local family business and it was our pleasure to be able to help a young lady out at a time of need.

“We found out through Facebook that her washing machine was broken, and we heard that she was planning to buy a new one with some of the funds that had been donated to her, so we just decided to give her one for free.”