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Mum forced to tell kids Christmas is cancelled after cancer diagnosis left her with just £30 a week

Mum forced to tell kids Christmas is cancelled after cancer diagnosis left her with just £30 a week

Catherine Jewers has been diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, leaving her with no choice but to cancel Christmas

Christmas is said to be a magical time, but for some that’s sadly not the case.

There are parents out there who don’t have the fortune of celebrating the holidays due to financial or health stressors.

In Norwich, a mum-of-five is currently having to make the difficult choice to cancel Christmas for her children after tragically being diagnosed with cancer for the second time.

Catherine Jewers has been diagnosed with breast cancer again, which has resulted in her financial situation to spiral downwards as she needed to take time off work to attend her chemotherapy treatments.

Now, Catherine is struggling to make ends meet, and finds it difficult to afford food and heating as she continues her treatment plan.

With only £30 a week to buy essentials, the single mum is left to struggle with the side effects of chemotherapy and manage without money.

Catherine Jewers has had to make the heartbreaking choice to cancel Christmas after her cancer diagnosis.

The 50-year-old admitted: “Since having cancer for the second time it’s been a huge struggle.

“I can’t afford my food shop anymore, nor put my heating on and now I have told my kids that Christmas is cancelled.

“I’m a single mother, I have been for years, and I can’t afford to eat or live or even survive.”

Catherine has been through chemo, radiotherapy, a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery before in 2010 after being first diagnosed with Oestrogen breast cancer which spread to her nodes.

After initially beating her cancer, it wasn’t until April this year that she received the most heartbreaking news; it had returned.

She shared: “The first time I had cancer was in 2010 and it was oestrogen-based breast cancer that had spread to my nodes.

“I had a mastectomy, chemo, radiotherapy, and reconstruction – it was awful. April of this year, I was diagnosed with the same cancer, but I have a triple negative metaplastic osteoclast breast cancer with giant cells on the other side.

Catherine has had to stop heating her home as she just can't afford it anymore.

“Since then, I had to leave my job which was incredibly tough as I worked there throughout COVID, but now I’m left with £30 to my name a week and I struggle to afford food.”

Now, Catherine is sacrificing her own wellbeing by skipping meals to feed her two children at home - aged 16 and 19 - so that they don’t have to suffer from their lack of resources.

She said: “Food I would normally buy them has now doubled in price; I struggle to get around supermarkets due to chemo, so a shop alone is so difficult.

“I find it soul-destroying how I can’t afford to feed them; I’ve worked for 38 years of my life – I’m dealing with my cancer and now I’m struggling with heating my home and paying for my food shop.

“I came out of the shop in tears because I just can’t do it – I’ve had to tell them that Christmas is cancelled, and it broke me.”

As the holidays are approaching and the cold weather reaches its peak, Catherine is struggling to afford to heat her home so instead, she has her children wrap up with additional clothing to keep warm.

The mum-of-five is battling her second diagnosis of cancer.

“I’ve said to my children, there will be no extras over Christmas, there will be nothing," she said.

“I’m going through my chemo, I don’t have my heating on, my kids constantly ask if they can have it on for a few hours and I tell them to grab a blanket and wrap up.

“We have gas central heating, so the prices are extortionate – everything is. I receive child benefits which is around £25 a week and my PIP but that’s it.

“My eldest in the house who works only earns £60, so I tell her to keep it as that’s her money, I just feel awful.”

She went on to add: “I have stuff in my freezer that sometimes is precooked meals but if I’m having a bad chemo day, I give it to my girls to eat.

“Every time I look at the prices my eyes water up, I can’t live like this.”

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can find more information about where to get help from Turn2Us via their website.

Featured Image Credit: Caters

Topics: News, Christmas, Health, Parenting, Money, Food and Drink