'No one living with cancer should have to worry about being homeless': Ex-nurse's fundraising plea to keep her house

Mandy Orton.
Mandy Orton.

A former Northampton nurse with breast cancer could soon be made homeless after failing to meet her bill payments because she was too poorly to work.

Mandy Orton, 55 of Abington supported rape victims in her former role as an NHS nurse for 30 years before she opened up her dream cafe in Moulton with a close friend, thus becoming self-employed.

The mum-of-two thought she had successfully beaten breast cancer in 2011 before undergoing a biopsy in 2017, which revealed that she contracted the illness again and immediately began chemotherapy after being told she was stage 3.

Now Mandy, who has not been able to pay her bills since April 2017 because she was undergoing treatment and had to leave work, needs to raise £6,000 in arrear payments before her home becomes repossessed.

She said: "Because I was self-employed I had to walk away from my café as it didn’t make enough to pay me sick pay. I have had to live on Employment and Support Allowance, which was £300 a month at first but I now get £500.

"This enables me to pay my bills, run my car and buy food but this doesn’t cover my mortgage, so I have had no way of paying it. Unfortunately, I am single and I used all my savings on my business so I haven’t been able to pay my mortgage since April last year."

Mandy finished her chemotherapy in September 2017 before undergoing a mastectomy and reconstruction operation in October with a four month recovery period.

She added: “This was not an easy journey but I made it and the experience teaches you to appreciate every day and value the precious things in life.

"I am also thankful that I went to the hospital when I did. My previous mammogram was clear just 10 months beforehand, I believe that this saved my life as I couldn’t feel the lump and it could have been some time before I discovered it."

But she added that juggling her finances have been harder than her illness to deal with.

"I am doing everything in my power to gather as much money as I can but these are not guaranteed, hence my plea. I have also started looking for work as I want to help myself more than anything but I cannot guarantee I’ll find work in time.

"I have been looking since January and have applied for several jobs in that time but have yet to hear. I have always been totally aware that I need to pay my mortgage and have been honest and upfront with my mortgage provider since the beginning."

The fundraising page, which was set up on Monday, February 19 has already raised over £2,000. You can donate here: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mandysplea