Rawmarsh charity shop stalwart is diagnosed with cancer

The Friends of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity Shop, Rawmarsh, Rotherham, presented a �20,000 cheque donation to Weston Park Hospital (left to right): Emeritus Professor Barry Hancock OBE, patron and trustee of Weston Park, Trudi Watson, Rose Emmerson, Ashley Sparks, Michael Priestley and Belinda Belton.
The Friends of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity Shop, Rawmarsh, Rotherham, presented a �20,000 cheque donation to Weston Park Hospital (left to right): Emeritus Professor Barry Hancock OBE, patron and trustee of Weston Park, Trudi Watson, Rose Emmerson, Ashley Sparks, Michael Priestley and Belinda Belton.
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A community stalwart has made a £20,000 donation to a cancer charity in the same week she was diagnosed with the disease herself.

Trudie Watson, who founded the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity shop in Rawmarsh, could have as a little as 12 months to live after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.

But the 73-year-old, who is helped out with the shop by her daughter, Belinda Belton, has vowed to continue life as normal for as long as she can.

Last week the pair donated £20,000 to the Weston Park Cancer Charity. The sum brings their fundraising total to a staggering £362,000 since the store was opened about 20 years ago.

Belinda, aged 45, said: “I think we’ve raised so much because cancer seems to touch everybody - I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been affected by it in some way and now my mum has been diagnosed with it herself.

“We only found out last Friday and are waiting to find out if she is fit enough to have an operation. If not, they have given her 12 to 18 months.”

Belinda added: “I don’t think she has accepted it yet. I don’t think any of us have. It’s started to hit me now and I’ve gone into angry mode.

“She wants to carry on as normal for as long as she can.

“She looks fit at the moment - in fact I’ve just been to put some make-up on because she looks far better than me! She has colour in her cheeks and everything.”

Trudie opened the charity shop, which is now based on Rawmarsh Hill, in memory of her husband and Belinda’s father Thomas, who died of lung cancer in 1993.

“My mum started fundraising before dad died because dad wanted to give something back to say thank you for the care he’d had,” said Belinda.

“They did a jumble sale when he first got cancer and they raised enough money to buy 10 fans for the hospital because it was a hot summer and the patients needed to be kept cool. Dad told mum to keep up the fundraising for as long as she could when he’s gone and that’s what she’s done.”

Over the past couple of years, Belinda has taken over the day-to-day running of the shop but Trudie is still a familiar face.

The pair will continue their great work until the time comes when Belinda will need to take some time off to care for her mum.