Friends of 10 years hold fund-raiser after breast cancer diagnosis

Mitch Rees and Charli Crowe

Mitch Rees and Charli Crowe - Credit: Archant

Firm friends over the last decade, Mitch Rees was devastated when he heard of the cancer diagnosis of former colleague Charli Crowe.

Ms Crowe, 28, who learned of her breast cancer last November, is so close to Mr Rees she even adopted his mother's maiden name for her own, and he gave her away at her first wedding seven years ago.

Now, former manager of the Catherine Wheel Mr Rees decided he had to do something to help his friend and has organised a fundraising event to boost the coffers of a cancer charity.

'She has obviously been through the wars and I thought it would be nice to raise some money,' said the 33-year-old.

'I was just sat on my bed one day and thought I needed to do something, I couldn't just sit there.'

Mr Rees took to Facebook to create an cabaret-themed event, and before he knew it hundreds had signed up to come.

'I have had £1,200 donated already, and I just thought it would be a couple of hundred pounds if we just got a few friends coming along,' he said. 'One of my close friends has donated in excess of £300 to the event, which is just amazing.

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'Another pub were going to create and event which did not happen, but they had raised some money and have donated more than £800. People have been so generous.

'Cabaret is just something that is fun and takes you away from the normality of life.'

Ms Crowe said Mr Rees had been 'just amazing' since she was diagnosed, two days before her 28th birthday. She has had a mastectomy, six sessions of chemotherapy and is now preparing for radiotherapy.

'I have known Mitch for about 10 years since I worked behind the bar at the Catherine Wheel,' she said.

'We just fell into a friendship. We were close enough by my first wedding when I was 21 that he gave me away, because I didn't have a dad in my life. When I split from that husband I asked him if he could take his mums name, and she was fine with it.'

Ms Crowe has been trying to educate her daughters, aged three and four, about what is happening to her.

'The kids understand it to an extent,' she said. 'Whenever we get on a bus my four year old will announce it saying : 'My mummy has cancer and that's like a disability so you need to give her your seats.'

'Chemo hit me so hard , vomiting constantly and mouth ulcers, it's awful, I would not wish it on my worst enemy.'

Cabaret against Cancer will be held on Sunday from 12pm until late at The Castle Pub.

All the money raised will be split 50:50 and donated to LGBT Plus and Cancer Research. For more information visit or the Cabaret against Cancer 2016 Facebook page.