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Saving Grace

APPEAL: Festival organiser, Tara Brown

A FUNDRAISING event is being held to help a Grenadian mum raise much needed funds to pay for cancer treatment.

The Life Festival, scheduled for March 1, will bring together musicians and DJ’s with the goal of aiding the stricken woman.

Main organiser Tara Brown, a British singer and drama teacher, told The Voice she organised The Life Festival after meeting a 38-year-old mother who found out she had cancer while on a visit to the UK.

The 38 -year old, who wishes to remain anonymous, was receiving treatment for breast cancer at St Georges’ Hospital in Tooting, southwest London when in December last year she was told by the National Health Service (NHS) that she would have to pay £15,000 to continue treatment because she is not a British citizen.

Brown said she organised the event after hearing about the woman’s plight.

“I met her at a chemotherapy session at the hospital where my dad was receiving treatment,” Brown said. “I didn’t see her again at the next session and made contact with her to see if she was okay. She told me that the day before her scheduled surgery, she received the letter.

“She came to England on holiday last May to see her mum. When she was breastfeeding her 11-month-old son, she found a lump in her breast.”

Brown said the woman is unable to receive treatment back in Grenada, as they do not have the surgeons to carry out the operation to remove the cancer from her breast.

A lot of people are rallying around to help the woman and Brown said this is heartening to see. She said: “The people of south London and the local bands have been very supportive.”

Brown, who is hosting the night, has set up the Life Foundation, a small independent charity to help others in similar situations in the future.

A St. Georges’ Hospital spokesperson referred The Voice to the Department of Health’s website, which said: ‘NHS trusts have a legal obligation to identify and charge those people not entitled to free NHS hospital treatment: they will make their decision in accordance with the NHS (Charges
to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2011.’

The department said hospital treatment is free to people who ordinarily live in the United Kingdom. ‘If you do not normally live here than you may be required to pay for any treatment you might need,’ it said.

The Life Festival will be held at the White Lion Pub at 232 Streatham High Road, SW16 1BB on March 1 from 6.00 pm to 11.00pm. Please contribute £3.00 on entry. Donations can also be made at Lloyds TSB, sortcode 30-80-97, account number 23027568.

For more information, contact Tara Brown on 07973 517 493 or Martin on 07944111 594.

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