A brave young woman battling a devastating brain tumour has thanked staff and shoppers for raising £8,000 as she fights the disease in a hospice.
Staff at the Peacocks store in Stretford Mall organised a series of fundraising activities including a sponsored walk across Manchester, after shop assistant Sarah Alouise Cahill was diagnosed with a rare gliomas tumour.
They raised a staggering £8,000, of which £3,000 has been given to Sarah to help her achieve some of the dreams on a ‘bucket list’ she drew up the list with her friend Joanna Walsh, assistant manager at the Peacocks store in Stretford Mall, including a meal out, spa day and holiday abroad.
The remaining £5,000 has been divided between the Christie hospital in Withington where staff are co-ordinating Sarah’s medical treatment, and St Ann’s hospice in Stockport where she is currently being cared for round the clock.
Sarah’s colleagues started fundraising after the bubbly 27-year-old from Reddish in Stockport was diagnosed with the tumour after suffering headaches, in December.
Her colleagues rallied around to support her as she underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at the Christie to try to shrink the tumour.
Sarah was well enough to join colleagues from Peacocks stores across Manchester on the walk in a wheelchair this spring, and colleagues also carried out a cake sale and sponsored head shave at Stretford Mall, alongside fundraising collections.
Sarah was recently moved to St Ann’s hospice in her home town, where she is being cared for round the clock, with her parents David and Carole Cahill at her side.
After colleagues presented cheques for £2,500 each to the hospital and hospice, Sarah said: “I am eternally grateful for everything that everyone has done. Everyone who has given money and donated, it’s a big help for them and a great help for us.
“It means a lot to me. The staff at the hospital and here at the hospice have been great and so it is very well deserved.
Sarah added: “At the moment it’s very slow, I can’t walk and I’m struggling with it. I’m trying to learn it all again but I’ve got lots of support, my mum and dad are here at my side all the time”
Peacocks’ Stretford Mall store manager Mandy Cocker and assistant store manager Joanna Walsh, who is also Sarah’s best friend, have been visiting her regularly.
Mandy said: “We raised £3,000 for Sarah. She really wanted to go abroad and so they are hoping she may be well enough at some point to make a trip to Ireland.
“We have been going to visit her at least once a week. It’s affected the whole team, we’re all just thinking of her all the time and trying to think of different things to keep her positive.
“Our regular customers at Stretford Mall have been very supportive and we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone who has donated to our stores across Greater Manchester.”
A former Levenshulme High School pupil, Sarah grew up in Levenshulme before the family moved to Reddish and has and two older sisters, Kelly and Gemma, and a brother Wayne.
Sarah’s mum and dad have been at her side throughout her treatment. Mum Carole said: “We can’t thank everyone enough, we’re all forever grateful to everyone who has rallied around Sarah and donated.
“Her colleagues at Peacocks have been wonderful, it’s fantastic that they have raised so much.
“We want to say a big, big thank you to everyone at the Christie and St Ann’s for everything they are doing to, it has been very difficult, but Sarah is trying to stay positive and all this support means so much to her and to us.”
The Christie Hospital in Withington is the largest single site cancer centre in Europe, treating more than 44,000 patients a year.
Stretford Mall manager, Gareth Wilkins, said: “We were heartbroken to hear of Sarah’s plight and we are glad that our staff and shoppers have been able to rally around to show such generosity.
“Both the Christie hospital and St Ann’s hospice do fantastic work to support hundreds of families in our community and they are well deserving of these donations.”
Mandy said the Stretford Mall store had the support of Peacocks stores across Manchester, Liverpool and North Wales, where staff helped with the fundraising.
She added: “Sarah is hugely popular. She is always bubbly and cheerful, we’re heartbroken that she is going through this. We have been determined to let her know we’re all here for her.”