Cancer fighter Eilish Jennings given VIP treatment at Crucible for World Snooker Championships - as £300,000 fundraising target ticks towards halfway mark in less than a month

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Hers is a story that has captured the hearts of the people of Sheffield - and cancer-fighter Eilish Jennings was given the VIP treatment at the Crucible yesterday, watching the World Snooker Championships with her partner Simon.

Eilish was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2016 when 34 weeks pregnant with twins and went on to have a double mastectomy - which she was told was successful.

Eilish Jennings and partner Simon at the Crucible with John Parrott and Stephen Hendry

Eilish Jennings and partner Simon at the Crucible with John Parrott and Stephen Hendry

But the family received the devastating news that cancer had returned last month - on the second birthday of her twin boys - and was told it was something that wasn't curable on the NHS.

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Simon launched a fundraising campaign, with the aim of raising £300,000 to fund treatment abroad, and estimates that almost half the total has been raised in under a month.

And after being invited to the Crucible to watch Sheffield-based star Ding Junhui take on Xiao Guodong in their first-round clash at the famous venue, and meeting former world champions Stephen Hendry and John Parrott, 36-year-old Eilish told World Snooker's Rob Walker: "The most frustrating thing is that I feel physically fine. I've had two cycles of chemotherapy so far and I've got another in two weeks, so six in total.

Eilish, pictured with her children Billy and Tom, both two, and Elise, four.

Eilish, pictured with her children Billy and Tom, both two, and Elise, four.

"The fundraising has been incredible and the support from everyone has been so overwhelming. I think we're at between £135,000 and £140,000 in just three or four weeks, which is incredible.

"We want to pursue every avenue possible in terms of treatment, but there is a lot of research we have to do to find the right place. I went to Portugal last week to see a doctor out there who is a pioneer, and came back feeling really positive after seeing him. But we still need to do a lot of research.

"But the city has really rallied around us, and we can't believe how generous people have been; family, friends and people we don't know. There is so much going on, and the support is just brilliant."

Simon said 'at least one' player or commentator from the ongoing snooker tournament in the city will be at the Sheffield Trades and Labour Club, Duke Street, on Thursday from 7pm.