A woman who suffers from incurable cancer has said she is “devastated” after thousands of pounds were stolen from her charity fundraising party in Fife.
Claire Winter, who was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2020, hosted a fundraising event at the Crossgates Royal British Legion club on Saturday, November 19 after finding out she would be on chemotherapy for the rest of her life.
The 44-year-old, who said the event took “six months of hard work”, was distraught to find that a pink collection bucket of cash with nearly £4000 inside had been stolen from the party.
She told STV News: “It’s been horrendous. The function wasn’t just a fundraiser, it was a celebration of my two-year diagnosis, and the fact that I am still here.
“I’m just devastated. Six months of hard work, the fundraising was such a huge success, and it’s all been for nothing.”
Raising money for CoppaFeel, a charity that encourages men and women to carry out checks for breast cancer, Claire and her husband raffled off a bottle of whisky signed by the band Nazareth and gloves signed by Hearts keeper Craig Gordon.
The mother of two believes the theft was carried out by someone attending the ‘Not Dead Yet’ event, as the party was a private function – attended by around 200 friends and family.
She continued: “The money was there until midnight, and it was sitting behind the DJ booth.
“It’s had to have been someone at the party as it was a private function.
“It’s quite a heavy bucket, so they must have used two hands to carry it out. I can’t believe I missed it.
“Just give it back. To the club, or to the police. All we care about it getting the money back for the charity.
“I just hope someone has a conscious.”
Claire was first diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2019, three months after meeting her future husband, Craig.
The following year she learned the cancer had developed to stage four after doctors removing her appendix noticed lesions on her spine and pelvis.
She will now receive a host of maintenance treatments, including oral chemotherapy, for the rest of her life to keep her alive.
Claire added: “The first diagnosis actually turned out positive as I got the treatment required. I felt relieved.
“The second just hit me like shellshock. It was anger, sadness, just a rollercoaster of emotions.
“You learn to live with it, and that’s the hardest part. I just focus on holding onto my family now.”
Police Scotland are continuing investigations into the theft.
Sergeant John Nicol, from Cowdenbeath Police Station, said: “We’re appealing for anyone with information on this theft, or if you believe you saw anyone acting in a suspicious manner in the Main Street area, to please come forward.
“You can call police on 101, quoting incident 2199 of November 21.
“Alternatively, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, if you wish to remain anonymous.”
If you wish to donate to Claire’s charity, please do so here.