Close friends rally to raise cash for charity in name of ill woman

FUNDRAISERS have clubbed together and set their sights on £100,000 target to help find a cure for a rare cancer.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 18th April 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:34 pm
The start of the scooter ride-out for Leanne Baldry
The start of the scooter ride-out for Leanne Baldry

Pals have rallied around Leanne Baldry, 52, who suffers from neuroendocrine tumours, a condition which is not currently curable.

As part of the fundraising 150 scooters and bikes rode out on the streets of Portsmouth on Saturday to raise cash for NET Patient Foundation UK and Planets, the Southampton Hospital Charity.

The ride-out took place from the Phoenix pub in Southsea with the Phoenix Scooter Club.

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Leanne Baldry, right, with friend Karen Harrison

Close friend Karen Harrison, 48, is part of the Pompey Massive Committee, the group set up to fundraise for Leanne.

She said: ‘Leanne is just amazed and humbled by the support and time everyone has put into each of the events.

‘When she was first diagnosed with NETS she didn’t know anything about this type of cancer before she was diagnosed and had never heard of it.

‘Not only do events like Saturday raise much-needed funds but also importantly awareness.

Leanne Baldry, right, with friend Karen Harrison

‘The scooter ride-out, which Leanne was thrilled to take part in, was a special day for her and one which she will treasure forever.

‘It made her feel alive and she didn’t stop smiling from start to finish.

‘She hopes one day they will find a cure for her and all those fighting cancer.’

Leanne, of Portsmouth, underwent major surgery in August 2015, having her spleen removed, most of her pancreas removed and part of her liver taken out by surgeons.

After taking part in the ride-out Leanne said: ‘It was a fantastic day.’

The scooter ride raised £2,173, and the fundraising total before that was almost £8,000, so the grand total is approaching £10,000.

Plenty more fundraisers are being planned, with people keen to take on personal challenges to raise cash.

Maria Wilkinson, 58, of Gosport, is one of Leanne’s friends, and said: ‘We’ve formed the Pompey Massive Committee trying to raise £100,000 through events and people doing something out of the ordinary.

‘The ride-out was fantastic, they got her on the back of the scooter on the lead.

‘They had all those scooters behind her along the seafront; she was really made up with that.’