A mother-of-two battling cancer for the second time has spoken of her immense pride after a rugby tournament organised in her name raised nearly £1,500 for charity.
Heidi Rock, 35, was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago but after undergoing gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy and several operations she was given the all-clear.
Sadly, late last year after going to the doctor with back pain she was given the news the cancer had returned – and spread to her bones.
But inspirational Heidi, who lives with husband Jason and daughters Laura, 11, and Katie, 13, in Saffron Walk, Bourne, is determined to stay positive and raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
Last Saturday, hundreds of people headed to Bourne Rugby Club for a match between Team Heidi and the Rest of the World. Heidi, who is an activities co-ordinator for Sense - working with adults with sensory impairments, said: “After being given the all-clear from breast cancer I was determined to get as fit as possible.
“I’d been doing a lot of running and gym work but saw Bourne’s RugbyFIT group for women advertised and thought it would be a great addition for me.”
Heidi quickly became a much-loved member of the team and so, when she fell ill for a second time, her many friends were keen to help organise an event in her honour.
She added: “I was blown away by the support shown on the day. It was really special and I was so proud of the work everyone put in to it.
“I’m determined to raise as much money as I can for Cancer Research UK to help it continue raising awareness and funding trials and research.”
Around 40 players in total took to the field. A select group of friends and Heidi’s two daughters were chosen to play for Team Heidi, while other women and girls keen to get involved were able to join in with The Rest of the World.
To the crowd’s delight, Heidi also managed to take to the pitch for a few minutes.
Players wore blue and pink kits - instead of Bourne Rugby Club’s usual blue and amber - sponsored by accountancy firm Duncan & Toplis.
Mark Thomas, who set up the RugbyFIT group in 2014, refereed the match, which was won by Team Heidi. He said: “Everyone who took part was extremely proud to be doing so for Heidi. It was the very least we could do and to have raised just under £1,500 is brilliant.”
Additional entertainment included a cake sale, bouncy castle and tombola.
Mark and fellow men’s 1st team players also helped boost the funds raised by volunteering to have their legs waxed - which contributed over £300.
Despite her ongoing battle with cancer, Heidi is planning further fundraising events, with friends and family due to take part in the Race for Life and Pretty Muddy events planned for Stamford in June.
She added: “My cancer now is non-curable. I’m having chemotherapy but it is essentially palliative. However, my many friends and supporters, and of course my family, make me determined to fight on.”
To make a donation, please visit Heidi’s JustGiving page.