Bid to help ill Mandy meet long-lost sister

editorial image

The family of a Sutton woman who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer is organising a big fundraising day in an effort to reunite her with her long-lost half-sister.

Mandy Dixon (55) has never met her big sister Barbara, who lives in Australia, and only found out that she existed a couple of years ago.

But Mandy, who has bowel cancer, is desperate to meet Barbara before she dies, so daughter Emma Vardy has organised a big charity fun day in an effort to raise enough cash to fly Barbara over to the UK so the two can get to know each other in person.

Said Emma (31), of Priestsic Road in Sutton: “It would mean everything to my mum.

“ It upsets her, the thought of never meeting her sister.”

Mandy was diagnosed with cancer back in 2011 but despite having radiotherapy and chemotherapy was later told that the disease had spread and was terminal.

“She was all stable and everything then she started getting worse last year,” said Emma.

“She had infections constantly and then this year it has been really bad.”

Mandy’s cancer has spread to several other places, including her lymph nodes, and she now struggles to walk very far.

She has been in and out of hospital and the John Eastwood Hospice but returns home when she is well enough.

It was a couple of years ago following the death of a distant relative that Mandy and her family discovered that she had some long-lost siblings - children from a previous relationship that her mother had.

Though she has met one half-sister, Janet, she has only been able to communicate with Barbara by telephone and the internet due to the distance between them.

Emma said: “I speak to Barbara quite a lot.

“They have spoken on the phone and through Facebook but with mum being poorly, I speak to her more now and tell her how she is.

“Barbara has said that if she had the money she would not think twice in spending it and coming over here.”

As Mandy’s condition has worsened, Emma has been spurred into action to make her mum’s wish come true.

She has organised a family fun day at The Unwin Club in Sutton on Sunday 7th September from 10am until late.

All money raised will go to pay for a plane ticket to fly Barbara from her home in Adelaide to the UK - and finally reunite the long-lost sisters.

“It’s been hard but I would do anything for my mum - she’s my best friend. She’s such an incredible person,” added Emma.

The family fun day at the Unwin Club, on Unwin Road, on 7th September promises to be packed full of activities that people of all ages will enjoy.

There will be cake stalls, tombolas, face painting, hair braiding, glitter tattoos, games, a raffle, nail painting, a climbing wall, balloon animals, a barbecue and two acts will be performing at night.

Entry is £3 for adults and £1 for children. Tickets can be bought on the door or get in touch with Emma via Facebook.

More information about the event can be found on Facebook by searching ‘My mum my inspiration’.

Mandy’s family have also taken part in a sponsored walk from Sutton to Nottingham to raise money for Barbara’s airfare and Emma has vowed to keep fundraising until they reach the amount needed.