A MUSICIAN from Eynesbury is hoping to raise £100,000 for cancer charities after she and one of her closest friends were diagnosed with the disease Alison Stephens, of Bevington Way, launched the fundraising campaign in July and has already collected more

A MUSICIAN from Eynesbury is hoping to raise £100,000 for cancer charities after she and one of her closest friends were diagnosed with the disease

Alison Stephens, of Bevington Way, launched the fundraising campaign in July and has already collected more than £15,000.

The 39-year-old, who is a talented mandolin player, was diagnosed with cervical cancer last October.

However, thanks to the treatment she received at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge Mrs Stephens is beating the disease.

"I had radiotherapy everyday for six weeks and chemotherapy once a week. Some days I was in hospital from 8.30am to 4pm," she told The Hunts Post.

"I feel fine now, apart from a few side affects but nothing too horrible. I just deal with it as no one knows what the future holds.

"But my prognosis is good."

Three months before she was diagnosed, her writer friend, Mike Maran, who she toured with in the stage adaptation of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, discovered he had bowel cancer.

Mr Maran, who lives in Trumpington, said: "While I was in Addenbrooke's Ali would take a break from her chemotherapy and play mandolin to me."

They both finished their treatment on August 1, but have to undergo regular scans to ensure the disease does not return.

United by their battle with cancer, they formed the Captain Corelli's Cambridge Cancer Club with the aim of raising money for cancer charities.

Mrs Stephens said: "We both want to give something back and fundraising is a positive thing to come out of the negative. You can sit around saying 'woe me' or you can stand up and do something."

Fundraising events so far have included 60-year-old father of four Mr Maran riding a motorbike for the first time and then riding a Vespa to Rome and back.

To boost their funds, Mrs Stephens is running a 5km race in Milton Keynes this weekend and taking part in a concert at St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, on October 2.

She will also be performing in Captain Corelli's Mandolin at Cambridge's Mumford Theatre on November 28 and has released a charity CD with guitarist Craig Ogden. Her royalties will go to Macmillan Cancer Support. Proceeds will also go to Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust and Kis Endowment Fund (bowl cancer research).

Mrs Stephens said: "We would be thrilled to get close to our target and help others who have to go through the horror of being diagnosed with cancer."

INFORMATION: Tickets for the concert at St John's College Chapel cost £20/£15 from 01223 357851. To find out more or to make a donation, visit www.ccccc.uk.com