11th August 2022

Jill’s fundraising story

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Scottish supporter, Jill Drummond is taking on the famed Kiltwalk in memory of her mum Margaret, who died in October 2021, just weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Said Jill, “My mum’s diagnosis wasn’t a straightforward one. She had been ill for a number of years since she had her stroke in 2017.

That’s when it all started. Her health deteriorated so much in the following years. It began with pain in her breast, stomach and then later in her bowel. I can’t remember the number of times we went to the doctors – it was at least once a week – yet we got no further in knowing what was causing her to be ill.

After a while they even said her pain was mainly in her head, and she was referred to a neuropsychologist. I was told to toughen up on her, with doctors telling me she was becoming too reliant on my help.

Mum always thought it was something more sinister, but we listened to the doctors, trusting their original diagnosis to be correct.

Sadly, mum was right.”

Mum’s diagnosis

“For years, Mum accepted these ailments but in 2021 she took a turn for the worse, but it was only in October that we finally got to the bottom of it.

We had gone to visit my sister in Cambridgeshire, and during the journey she started to get really confused and over the week her health deteriorated.

By Thursday we had to call an ambulance for Mum, and she was taken into Hinchingbrooke Hospital for testing. We couldn’t be with her due to Covid, but within days the consultants asked to meet us.

When Mum was first admitted she received an X-ray which revealed ‘something concerning’ so she was sent for a full body CT scan.”

After years of persistently going back to the doctors, we finally found out what was making mum so ill, and we were told the devastating news. Mum had terminal lung cancer.

“They said she had cancer in both lungs, adrenal glands, and her brain. When we told her she was very brave, even when the doctors said she only had weeks to live.

Sadly, it was too late for Mum to get any treatment. She was even too poorly to travel back to Scotland, so we cared for her at my sister’s home until she died on the 30th of October at age 73.”

The aftermath of Mum’s diagnosis

“The pain I felt when hearing Mum’s diagnosis was indescribable. I was angry, broken and just devastated. I felt like it wasn’t real.

At first Mum began pushing me away. That hurt beyond words but now I know it was because she was scared but trying not to show it.

When Mum died, it left a big hole in our lives. My daughter was only seven and she was used to seeing her every day, plus my niece was heavily pregnant and her child never got to meet her great grandma.

After her death I wanted to do something in her name, to honour her and raise money for a much-needed cause. It was too late for Mum, but I would like to see others get the help they need.

With this in mind, I signed up for the Kiltwalk and I am looking forward to the challenge and raising money for the charity, but I am finding it very emotional.”

So far, Jill has raised over £450 which will receive an additional 50% on top from Sir Tom Hunter as given to all those taking part in the Kiltwalk in Dundee this August.

You can visit her fundraising page here.

Early detection is key to giving patients the best possible outcome; last month we launched the #needtoscreen campaign in a bid to secure a national screening programme.

Our campaign follows the success of the Targeted Lung Health Checks programme currently available in England. So far, the programme has detected 900 lung cancers with 77% being early stage.

Unfortunately, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do not yet have access to lung health checks.

We want to change that, and we need your help to do it. A national screening programme could help prevent more people receiving a diagnosis at stage four, like Margaret.