Sisters organise a charity dance

PUBLISHED: 13:06 23 August 2007 | UPDATED: 21:46 29 May 2010

From back left, Esther Rowland, Rebecca Reynold, John Rowland, Susan Rowland and Chris Reynolds

From back left, Esther Rowland, Rebecca Reynold, John Rowland, Susan Rowland and Chris Reynolds

TWO daughters are raising awareness for ovarian cancer after their mother was struck twice with the disease. Susan Rowland, from Dunmow, who turned 60 this year, is also suffering from a rare brain disease. She and her husband John ran Pulfords pet and g

TWO daughters are raising awareness for ovarian cancer after their mother was struck twice with the disease.

Susan Rowland, from Dunmow, who turned 60 this year, is also suffering from a rare brain disease.

She and her husband John ran Pulfords pet and garden shop in Dunmow. Ten years ago they sold the shop and Susan began working part time but had to retire due to ill health.

She has had to deal with more than most in her life and the re-emergence of ovarian cancer is the latest in a string of serious illnesses that she has had to fight.

Esther Rowland, Susan's daughter, said: "We couldn't believe it when we found out the cancer had come back. She had been free of the disease for five or six years, so it took us all by surprise."

Originally diagnosed with cancer in 2001, Mrs Rowland received chemotherapy which was initially successful and the cancer went into remission. But during 2002 she began to notice coordination difficulties and slurred speech.

Despite a number of tests, doctors were unable to establish a cause. Her condition deteriorated over the next few years and in July she spent a week at the neurosciences physiotherapy department in Oxford.

They discovered she had had a rare reaction to the chemotherapy and it had caused a brain disease known as cerebellar atrophy and ataxia.

When the ovarian cancer re-emerged in 2007, Susan's daughters Esther and Rebecca decided it was time to raise people's awareness of the disease and try to collect money for The Eve Appeal, the national charity for ovarian cancer.

Esther said: "There is a lot of coverage about breast cancer but very little public understanding of the disease that our mother has been diagnosed with."

The daughters have organised an evening of music and dancing at Foakes Hall, Great Dunmow on Saturday October 20, from 7.30pm to 11.30pm. Tickets cost £8 and can only be bought in advance by calling 01494 864309.

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