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Daughter raises funds for West Hampstead cancer patient who sold beloved caravan to pay for cost of living

Drive to raise £3,000 to buy new vehicle

05 January, 2017 — By Ella Jessel

Cancer patient Andrea Dawson with the caravan she sold and, below, with her daughter Stephanie

THE daughter of a cancer patient who was forced to sell her beloved caravan because of the costs of living with the disease has launched an appeal to help buy her mum a new vehicle to make “life feel normal again”.

Stephanie Dawson, 27, of West Hampstead, is hoping to raise £3,000 to buy a second-hand caravan for her mum Andrea, 52, who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in July.

Her parents, who live in Derbyshire, bought a new caravan in July and were “absolutely obsessed” with it, setting off every weekend with their labrador to explore the countryside.

 It was really hard to see it sold because it meant so much to her

Stephanie Dawson with her mother Andrea

The short trips allowed Andrea to escape some of the “mental effects” of cancer and Ms Dawson said the weekends in the countryside helped her pull through in some of the harder moments.

But recently the family were told she required further treatment, and the cost of taking time off work meant they had no choice but to sell their treasured caravan.

Ms Dawson said: “Her treatment is all free on the NHS but with having treatment over such a long period, she isn’t able to work at the moment, but you’ve still got the mortgages and the bills to pay for. No one talks about the costs of living with cancer, and the nicer things in life, like a small second-hand caravan, can suddenly get taken away. It was really hard to see it sold because it meant so much to her. It was a big blow.”

Ms Dawson said she decided to launch the campaign because she felt powerless to help her mum, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment and had to spend much of the Christmas holidays in hospital.

“Chemotherapy is so much worse than people tell you. There’s nothing you can do, and there is nothing I can do to make her better.

“But that caravan allowed her a little bit of escapism. But it’s not just about getting her something materialistic, it’s about trying to help her feel normal. For my mum that means fresh air and countryside.”

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