A South Wales mum of two who survived colon cancer was among the guests at a coffee morning hosted by Welsh fashion designer David Emanuel in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support last Friday.
Cathy Simms, 48, was invited to the third annual World’s Biggest Coffee Morning hosted by the Bridgend-born designer. She spoke to him about her battle with colon cancer four years ago, and the financial struggles she faced when she was discriminated against by her former employer during her cancer treatment.
She also listened as David – host and creative director of the hit TLC/Disovery series Say Yes To The Dress – told guests at Gileston Manor and Country House in the Vale of Glamorgan about his own experience of prostate cancer in 2012. He was supported by Macmillan during his treatment and has since become a celebrity ambassador for the charity, including holding his own annual coffee morning.
Cathy, who runs her own business designing and fitting shop interiors, said: “Today has been a fantastic day. David Emanuel is such a lovely, genuine guy. I won a big teddy bear designed by him in the raffle, had my photo taken with him, I told him my story and he listened to it all.”
She explained that Macmillan had helped her with the case against her former employer, and that she now wanted to help raise awareness of cancer and discrimination.
David – most famous for designing the late Princess Diana’s wedding dress in 1981 – said: “My Macmillan nurse was a great support to me when I was diagnosed with cancer so it’s fantastic to host a coffee morning which will help Macmillan to fund its services for people with cancer and their loved ones.”
Funds from David’s coffee morning, and those happening across Wales, will help Macmillan to provide vital services for people with cancer and their loved ones including our nurses, benefits advisers and information and support centres.
Susan Morris, Head of Services for Macmillan Wales, said: “Macmillan would like to say a huge thank you to David for his continued support and for hosting a World’s Biggest Coffee Morning at Gileston Manor.
“David is a brilliant supporter and the funds raised by his coffee morning and those happening across Wales helps us to invest in services to support people with cancer and their loved ones throughout the country.”
Cathy is also taking part in Go Sober for October, Macmillan’s fundraising challenge encouraging social drinkers to give up alcohol for a month to help raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Care and support those living with and beyond cancer.
Cathy says, “I’m not fit enough for all the running challenges for Macmillan, but this is something I can really get behind and I think it’ll be really good for my health.”
We’ll be following Cathy’s Go Sober For October challenge on our blog.
If you have been affected by cancer and would like information and support from Macmillan, visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call the Macmillan Support line on 0808 808 00 00.