West Hampstead mum with cancer ‘overwhelmed’ as community raises £6k towards cost of caring for her twins
PUBLISHED: 13:37 08 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:41 08 November 2017
A mum battling cancer has said she is ‘completely overwhelmed’ by the kindness of donors after a fundraising bid saw donations pour in to pay childcare fees so she has time to recover from treatment.
Nicky Joseph thought she was suffering from breastfeeding condition mastitis after giving birth to longed for sons Leo and Gabriel through IVF following a ‘traumatic’ pregnancy.
But in May, the West Hampstead mum had to undergo a masectomy after doctors diagnosed stage 2 breast cancer the month before.
Six days before chemotherapy started in July, Ms Joseph’s fiancé abandoned her leaving the mum on her own to cope with the side effects of treatment and the demands of looking after two ‘lively’ 16-month-old boys.
On her chances of survival, doctors say the cancer is ‘curable’ for up to five years, but Ms Joseph said she lives in constant fear.
“I’m petrified I might not be here to see the boys grow up. That’s what worries me more than anything else. The future right now is hard to think about. All I think about is what’s in the boys’ best interests,” a tearful Ms Joseph said.
Now on sick leave, Ms Joseph was forced to turn down Camden Council’s offer of 15 days of childminding in Mornington Crescent to support the special needs coordinator once her radiotherapy starts at the Royal Free. She explained she would be too ill to travel back and forth to the childminder’s and on to the hospital everyday for five weeks.
With an absent father, estranged mother and not meeting the requirements for government support Ms Joseph was left in a desperate situation.
At that point her identical twin cousins Kimberley and Lauren stepped in setting up a Justgiving page to raise £10,000 in childcare costs and give Ms Joseph time to recover from the nausea and sickness caused by her treatment.
Ms Joseph said: “When you have two very active twin boys it’s not possible to rest. I am running on autopilot.”
But the community’s generosity has astonished the 43-year-old who saw donations start to flood in after a mum asked about her hair loss, spotting her photo on messaging service Whatsapp. Her story has been shared on Hampstead mothers Facebook groups
Ms Joseph said: “I can’t believe how generous people have been. It has been really touching.”