Edinburgh mum smashes £100,000 fundraising target while undergoing terminal cancer treatment

Lisa Flemming, second left, with Dr Olga Oikonomidou, centre. Picture: Richard Brannan/TSPL
Lisa Flemming, second left, with Dr Olga Oikonomidou, centre. Picture: Richard Brannan/TSPL
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A REMARKABLE Edinburgh mother has managed to smash her six-figure fundraising target despite still undergoing treatment for terminal cancer.

Lisa Flemming, 35, who has secondary breast cancer, vowed to help others by raising awareness of the disease.

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Despite undergoing her ninth round of major surgery, Lisa, from Colinton, achieved her goal by raising £100,000 for the charity she set up last year – Make 2nds Count.

At the inaugural ball, held at Prestonfield last Saturday, Lisa presented the cheque to leading academic Dr Olga Oikonomidou, who is consultant medical oncologist and clinician scientist in breast oncology at the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre.

Make 2nds Count aims to raise even more vital funds which will go directly to research on secondary breast cancer being conducted at the Western General Hospital.

Lisa was diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer in May 2017. She had no prior symptoms and at 34 was fit and healthy with a four-year-old son.

And she was further shocked to learn the cancer had spread from her breast to her bones, despite never having a primary breast cancer diagnosis or any visible lump.

Just months later, Lisa was given further distressing news that the cancer had spread again – this time to her brain.

Even though she had already enduring gruelling treatments, last summer Lisa started up Make 2nds Count to raise awareness of secondary breast cancer and the devastating effects it has.

Like many, Lisa was unaware that cancerous cells from a breast tumour can quietly spread through the blood or lymphatic system and take hold in another. Only 5 per cent of people who receive an initial breast cancer diagnosis find out at the same time that cancerous cells are also present elsewhere in their body.

It’s a distressing double blow and unlike primary breast cancer, which can be addressed using a range of treatments, secondary cancer is incurable. Around 1,000 people in the UK die every month as a result.

In some cases, secondary cancer can be discovered following treatment for breast cancer.

Lisa launched Make 2nds Count after discovering that, on average, only 5 to 9 per cent of breast cancer funding is allocated to secondary cancer research.

It’s hoped the charity can raise awareness and vital funds to help with research.

Last month, almost 300 women supported Lisa’s charity at The Balmoral for a lunch organised by EGG, a city-wide members’ club that forges female friendships and business connections through a series of events, partnerships and exclusive offers.

EGG Edinburgh has more than 13,000 members who enjoy a wealth of discounts at favourite retailers and special offers from many businesses.

Visit www.eggedinburgh.com and Make 2nds Count for more information.