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Norwich workers raise more than £20,000 in memory of cancer woman

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:49 02 July 2010

Paula Palmer, Stuart Palmer.

Paula Palmer, Stuart Palmer.

Peter Walsh

The memory of a woman who lost her second battle with cancer last year has been honoured by workers at a city insurance firm who have helped raise more than £20,000 for a charity she supported.

The memory of a woman who lost her second battle with cancer last year has been honoured by workers at a city insurance firm who have helped raise more than £20,000 for a charity she supported.

Paula Palmer, 37, was first was first diagnosed with breast cancer just months after her dream wedding to husband Stuart in Antigua in May 2007 and had a mastectomy and reconstruction operation in the same year.

But Mrs Palmer's happiness was short-lived and she was diagnosed with cancer of the liver last year and died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on November 17.

Following her death Norwich-based insurance firm Marsh, where Mr Palmer works, decided to donate money raised from their annual charity car park event at its Queen's Road offices over Christmas to the Keeping Abreast charity which his wife supported.

And festive shoppers using the car park in the weekends leading up to and following Christmas and the New Year donated have helped raise a staggering £21, 850 for the cancer reconstruction charity.

Mr Palmer, 40, from Horsford, said he was “staggered” by the amount of money that had been raised and extremely proud that his wife's memory had been honoured in this way.

He said: “I'm very, very proud and touched by it all and for the public for raising that sort of money. But it's tinged with sadness that she's not here to see it. She would've been staggered. It's sad that she's not here to celebrate it.”

Mr Palmer also thanked his colleagues and volunteers who helped man the car park and manage the traffic for six to seven weeks in the run up to Christmas during what was one of the coldest winter's in the past three decades.

He said: “It was a great effort by everyone.”

Poignantly Mrs Palmer is to appear as the September model in a 2010 fundraising calendar for the charity although she will not be here to see it.

Beverley Birritteri, a trustee and co-founder of the charity, said it was the most money that had ever been raised for the charity.

She said: “It was absolutely fantastic. We really just couldn't believe how much they had raised - I think we all nearly dropped down when they told us how much it was. We're just so grateful for all they have done.”

The charity, which was set up in September 2007, helps offer practical advice and support for women who have had reconstructive surgery after being diagnosed with cancer.

It has about 250 members in Norwich, but now following the funding boost hopes to be able to expand to King's Lynn and put on a major conference at the Holiday Inn, Norwich Airport, in September.

To find out more log onto www.keepingabreast.org.uk

Would you like to pay tribute to a loved who has lost a cancer battle? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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