Former Burnley College cancer patient raises thousands for hospital ward that treated her...and celebrates engagement!

Ashleigh Rimmer at her charity night which was raising money for Lymphoma Action and Ward J94 at Leeds St James's Hospital
Ashleigh Rimmer at her charity night which was raising money for Lymphoma Action and Ward J94 at Leeds St James's Hospital

It has been quite the year for a young Pendle woman who just over 12 months ago saw a devastating cancer diagnosis turn her world upside down.

Since then former Park High School pupil Ashleigh Rimmer (22) has entered into remission, got engaged to the "love of her life" and earlier this month held a casino night which raised thousands of pounds for the ward where she received her treatment.

Ashleigh Rimmer with her husband-to-be, Connor Mills

Ashleigh Rimmer with her husband-to-be, Connor Mills

"It's been unbelievable," she said. "So much has gone on, it's all been a bit of a whirlwind."

Ashleigh was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in July 2018.

Two months later, in amongst the multitude of hospital appointments, scans and down days, she decided to start writing an online blog entitled 'My Biggest Fight Yet (AMR)'.

In it she speaks candidly about the disease and her terrifying journey but with such warmth, humour and positivity it is impossible not to smile while reading it.

Ashleigh holding the cheque for 3,475.11 with (left) Chris Buck, chairman of Colne and Nelson Ruby Club and president Bert Lambert

Ashleigh holding the cheque for 3,475.11 with (left) Chris Buck, chairman of Colne and Nelson Ruby Club and president Bert Lambert

Pendle Today spoke with Ashleigh about her blog in February. Just a few days later doctors gave her the news that she was in remission.

"I couldn't believe it," said Ashleigh, who is back working as a discharge co-ordinator at Airedale Hospital. "The doctor at Leeds who I had been seeing throughout was actually on holiday but I didn't know. It meant we were seeing the lead consultant so I automatically thought it was bad news. When he told me I had reached 'full remission status' I didn't believe him. I asked him, 'Are you sure?' It was such an incredible feeling.

"I had my bloods done in May and they were all normal. I then had a CT scan on my abdomen, chest and pelvis at the beginning of August. I had to wait until August 29th for the results so that was nerve-racking, but everything came back clear thankfully."

Ashleigh's boyfriend, Connor Mills, had booked a night away at Ribby Hall on August 26th to take her mind off the pending results. Unbeknown to Ashleigh though, he was planning to propose.

"I thought he was joking when he asked me. I was on such a high when he told me. I didn't expect it at all. It definitely took my mind off the results but when I got home I was just worried they were going to knock me off my high. Fortunately they didn't and now we can't wait to get married."

Ashleigh organised a fundraising night at the beginning of September to raise money for Lymphoma Action and Ward J94 at Leeds St James's Hospital where she received her treatment. The night raised a staggering £3,475.11for the two causes - £225 off which was donated by Colne and Nelson Rugby Club who hosted the party.

"It was a brilliant night and I'm so happy with the money that we raised. I'd like to thank all the people who came and all the firms that donated prizes for the raffle. Also Josephine Sykes for letting us have the room for free and of course the rugby club for their kind donation.

"It was a really emotional night because it felt like it was the end of an era. I'm looking forward to the next chapter now."

Ashleigh is still writing her blog and anybody wanting to take a look at it can do so by clicking here.