A CANCER diagnosis turned life upside down for Lynsey Haggarty.

“I was terrified – but the support and love provided by the Beatson, just when I need it most, helped me through,” says the 37-year-old.

“I never thought I would be the person telling my children that their mum had cancer. My daughter immediately broke into tears and asked - ‘mummy, are you going to die?’

“I felt awful that I had worried my kids and my husband.”

Lynsey is sharing her experience as the Beatson Cancer Charity – which saw fundraising donations drop by 50 per cent during 2020 - launches its festive Bauble Appeal.

The theme is Hope, Celebrate, Thank and Remember.

Glasgow Times:

“This year, more than ever, families who have been affected by cancer want to share their story to help others, and to reach out with a plea for public support for the charity,” explains Martin Cawley, CEO. “With the alarming delays in treatment, and for families not able to visit due to tighter Covid-19 restrictions, we are still trying to help everyone with access to our services.

“A 50 percent reduction in our fundraising has meant we needed to adapt our services for some patients and think of virtual ways to do things differently. Our Beatson Bauble appeal is a reminder to think of others - a small donation to a local charity makes the difference to many.”

Mr Cawley adds: “We want to raise as much money as we can to fund research and continue delivering the unique care and support offered at centres across the west of Scotland.”

Lynsey, from Bearsden, was diagnosed last April, a few days after her 36th birthday.

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“I put on a brave face and reassured my children that ‘mummy would be fine’,” she recalls. “Inside though, I was so afraid. I needed chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and a variety of targeted treatments. The doctors and nurses were lovely and so reassuring, but naturally, I had very anxious moments – worrying about myself, my kids, my husband and the rest of my family.

“The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Team helped me realise that while my journey would be challenging, I wouldn’t face it alone.”

Lynsey visited the charity’s Wellbeing Centre.

“It was my oasis, a space where I could escape and completely switch off from all the worries,” she says. “It is a real sanctuary for thousands of people like me.”

As part of the Beatson Booby Birds, a team of businesswomen from Glasgow who took part in a skydive, Lynsey helped to raise £82,000.

Lynsey adds: “I found out last December that my body had responded well to treatment – that was such a special moment for my entire family.

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“The best Christmas gift ever. So this year, I am keen to spread the word about the charity’s campaign, as they have helped me immensely.”

Find out more about the Beatson Cancer Charity’s Bauble Appeal at beatsoncancercharity.org/bauble. You can also donate by texting the word BEATSON to 70490 to donate £5 or you can call 0141 212 0505.