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Downham Market band get together again for cancer charity show

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Members of a Downham sixties band reunited for one night to hold a fundraising gig for Macmillan to thank the charity for support following a shock diagnosis of breast cancer.

A Downham family breathed a sigh of relief as Maxine Kinghorn, 43, was given the all clear from breast cancer as the year anniversary of her diagnosis fast approached.

Her father, David Seals, 70, said: “My wife, Wendy, and I were in Spain when we had a call from our daughter saying she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It came as quite a shock. She’s a fit, healthy and active girl and she felt fine. She couldn’t believe she had missed the lump for as long as she did.”

He added: “She told us to stay in Spain, but we were so worried that we came straight home to be with her when she saw the specialist.”

Maxine was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer at the beginning of 2013 and was put straight on a course of chemotherapy, which was followed by an operation to remove the lump and a further course of radiotherapy.

David said: “She was quite ill for a while but Macmillan were so helpful and even gave her a book to help explain it all to the kids. She’s been so strong and determined throughout and has now been given the all clear.”

Throughout his daughter’s treatment in hospital, David visited her regularly and it was while visiting that he noticed the amount of fundraising that was being done to help the hospital and Macmillan and he wanted to do the same.

He said: “The nurses and doctors at Macmillan were marvellous and helped to get us through, so to repay all their kindness I asked some of my old bandmates if we could reform and put on a dance to raise some money to help them.”

A former member of One Night Stand, a band that played country and sixties music around West Norfolk for 10 years before drifting apart eight years ago, David called the band back together to play this special fundraising gig.

He said: “We actually played our first gig to raise money for the hospital so it seemed right that we reform for this. I thought it was the least we could do and the rest of the group were all too willing.”

Keen supporters, old fans, friends, family and colleagues packed out Downham Methodist Church for the gig and a total of £946.11 was raised.

The money raised joined a further £400 from a cake sale held by Maxine, her mother, Wendy, and her colleagues at Sorellas Hair Studio previously.

David said: “It was a lovely, but emotional occasion. We played all the old songs that we used to play. It was really well supported and people were so generous. They all really enjoyed it and so did we.”

The fundraisers handed over the cheque to Downham’s representative for national cancer charity, Macmillan, Susan Sampson.

“It was really nice handing over the money to Susan.”

He added: “We all just wanted to do something to help others in the same situation and it was a celebration for my daughter beating cancer as well as a fundraiser.”

Despite only having weeks to rehearse, the band put on a good show and are open to holding other fundraising gigs in the future after seeing the success of this event.

David said: “We really enjoyed it and we may do another charity event in the summer.”

 

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