Derbyshire newlywed on fundraising mission for Macmillan after wife’s cancer diagnosis
A Derbyshire newlywed has raised more than £14,000 for Macmillan after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Veronika Fletcher, 34, discovered she had the BRACA gene in 2018, resulting in 18 rounds of chemo, two surgeries and three weeks of radiotherapy.
As the tumours have returned twice already, any further surgery is on hold and she is currently receiving oral chemotherapy to contain the cancer.
Husband Drew, 38, an airline captain, wanted to do something to thank Macmillan for the support they have received from the team at Chesterfield Royal Hospital since Veronika’s diagnosis.
Ever since shaving his head when Veronika lost her hair, Drew has been on a fundraising mission to support Macmillan, from signing up for the London Marathon to placing collection tins in the couple’s rental properties and most recently organising a charity bonfire night for 200 people.
He has already raised more than £14,000 for Macmillan.
Drew said: “This is not the easiest diagnosis to deal with especially as Veronika will always have treatment going forward but Macmillan do make it easier.
“The support helping to explain to loved ones and our children, to the nurses who administer the treatment to the people you can call on the phone for help or just someone to let it all out to, Macmillan make a difference.
“I have cried, I have lost my temper, I have felt anger and I have felt helpless – the whole way through Macmillan have been supportive, positive and help people when they really do need it.”
After the first round of chemotherapy, Veronika had a mastectomy – but the cancer returned aggressively almost immediately.
Another round of chemotherapy and surgery followed and, just when she was nearing the end of radiotherapy treatment, she discovered another lump.
Drew said: “It seems for Veronika every time her body concentrates on healing the surgery, the body allows the cancer to come back aggressively.
“We will consider surgery at a later date if there is something that can help but for now we want to concentrate on chemo as she has always responded really well to this and I just want her to get better.
“We plan and live our life normally.
“We are overcoming the challenges it presents and we choose not to use the word ‘fight’ or ‘beat’.”
The couple, who live in the Baslow area with their four young children, have been determined not to let Veronika’s diagnosis disrupt their lives and have continued to develop their property renovation business and even get married between treatment and surgeries.
Drew said: “When I witness the treatment first hand I have no idea how the hell I would cope.
“Veronika went through this while renovating houses, home schooling, keeping the house, running kids around the park and she was totally bulletproof.”
Hannah Lumb, Macmillan fundraising manager for Derbyshire, said: “It’s thanks to amazing supporters like Drew that we can do whatever it takes for people living with cancer in Derbyshire.
“Drew’s commitment to fundraising for Macmillan while supporting Veronika and the children is just incredible.
“People affected by cancer need our help now more than ever and the money Drew has raised will enable us to continue to fund vital cancer support services across the county.”
Support Drew’s fundraising here.