Terminally ill Morecambe mum ‘totally overwhelmed’ by £90k donation towards fundraising bid

Emma Ellis and family collect their cheque from Wickes staff at the family fun day. Photo credit: Andy Slack, Beyond Radio.
Emma Ellis and family collect their cheque from Wickes staff at the family fun day. Photo credit: Andy Slack, Beyond Radio.

A mum-of-three desperately fighting an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer was left speechless at the weeknd by a surprise £90,000 donation towards her fight for life.

Emma Ellis is battling terminal pancreatic cancer and needs around £120,000 to pay for groundbreaking treatment only available in America, Australia and Germany.

And at a special event held at The Globe on Saturday, Emma and her family were presented with a cheque for £90,000 from DIY chain Wickes.

Wickes raised most of the cash from their stores around the UK and the donation was kept a secret until the family fun day.

Their generosity now leaves Emma just a few thousand pounds’ short of her target.

Emma said she was “totally overwhelmed” and the funds raised were “beyond anything I could ever have imagined”.

Emma and family on the couple's wedding day.

Emma and family on the couple's wedding day.

“It’s absolutely amazing and surreal at the same time, we’re all still in shock!” she said.

As we reported in August, Emma, 45, was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in September 2018 and given just six months to live.

But she has defied the odds and continues to fight on hoping to pay for the specialist care which could help her to see her three-year-old daughter Harri grow up.

The local community has rallied around Emma and had already raised £15,000 through an online fundraising page.

Andy Ellis (right of pic), Emma's husband, fighting Joe Greenwood at the boxing fundraiser at Red Rose Community Centre on Saturday night. Photo credit: Rachel Landsborough.

Andy Ellis (right of pic), Emma's husband, fighting Joe Greenwood at the boxing fundraiser at Red Rose Community Centre on Saturday night. Photo credit: Rachel Landsborough.

Then on Saturday, hundreds of people attended two separate events to raise more money towards the target.

Wickes store manager and Morecambe FC match day announcer Mark Swindlehurst got together with colleagues to organise the family fun day at the Globe Arena.

This included a fundraising ‘Stand Up For Emma’ challenge where a group of Wickes staff sat in all 2,100 seats at the football stadium, a raffle, tombola, bric-a-brac, cake stall and guest appearances by ‘Batman’ and ‘Spiderman’.

There was also a live music stage with local singers including Ellie Knowles, Ron Carey, Mark McKenna and Beyond Radio’s Harri Deane. This was hosted by Beyond Radio’s Trevor Cooke and Greg Lambert, and DJ Steve Middlesbrough.

A total of £9,000 was raised which Wickes topped up to the £90,000, bringing the total raised to £105,000.

Then on Saturday night, further money was raised at a boxing fundraiser at the Red Rose Community Centre in Morecambe owned by local boxing trainer Frank Harrington.

Organised by Carl Flynn Promotions, the card included Emma’s husband Andy and brother Michael making their boxing debuts to help with the fundraising campaign.

An auction and raffle is estimated to have raised £2,200, with ticket and sponsorship proceeds still to be confirmed.

Emma, who grew up in Morecambe and went to Poulton-le-Sands Primary School and then Morecambe High, married her long-term partner, Andrew, 37, after her diagnosis.

The couple have a three-year-old daughter, Harri, and Emma also has two older daughters – Elle, 23, and Drew, 20.

Emma’s fundraising page can be found online here