Crowdfunder raises £7,000 for Northampton grandmother left with bills for cancer treatment after employee health plan falls short

She has been left facing a £50,000 bill after her Nationwide employee health plan failed her - but a crowdfunding campaign has already raised thousands for her in just days.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 5:02 pm
Northampton nan Ann Kelk says she is "humbled" by the thousands of pounds raised online to help her with her cancer treatments.

A Northampton grandmother who had the 'rug pulled out from under her' by shortfall in her employer's health plan says she has been "humbled" by the thousands of pounds raised online to her afford her cancer treatments.

Ann Kelk, from Westone, built a career for over 30 years with Nationwide - and when she was diagnosed with cancer in May 2019, she felt confident the building society's health plan would help her in her time of need.

But the 64-year-old instead discovered the plan did not cover her condition - leaving her facing a £50,000 bill over the next two years for her treatment, which won't be on the NHS for another two years.

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To help her along, last week Ann's daughter Amy set up a crowdfunding page on GoFundMe to raise money for her mum.

But now, thousands of pounds has been raised online in the space of just a week.

At time of writing (January 24), over £7,000 has been raised to help Ann with her treatments, which will cost her £2,500 a month for the next two years.

Ann told the Chronicle & Echo: "People have been so generous. It's been really quite humbling.

"When we started we thought we would be lucky to get £5,000 just to help with the first treatments. But people have been so kind.

"I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone for their generosity. It really is heartwarming."

It comes after Ann and Amy launched a petition in 2019 for Nationwide to educate their employees on what their healthcare benefits cover and to review what conditions are covered. The petition currently has 4,188 signatures.

Ann said: "Nationwide don't inform you of what their benefits cover. There is nothing to let people to be able to understand what is covered and what's not.

"Not until you're in my situation do you realise the rug's been pulled out from under you.

"I want other employees to understand what the reality is and for Nationwide to make it clear what they're benefit covers.

"If I had known what the plan did and did not cover I would have just got health insurance long ago. But it's too late now."

Nationwide has been contacted for a comment.