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Harrogate Woman Raises Charity Funds With Crystal Art After Being Diagnosed With Cancer

Paula Grainger, 79, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2019, and has since been “giving something back” by selling her artwork at community events.

Harrogate Woman Raises Charity Funds With Crystal Art After Being Diagnosed With Cancer A Harrogate woman has been creating crystal art to raise funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research after being diagnosed with cancer. Paula Grainger, 79, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2019, and has since been “giving something back” by selling her artwork at community events. She said:

“I came across Yorkshire Cancer Research, and I didn’t realise that there was a regional cancer charity, so I thought ‘right, what can I do to help?’. I’ve always liked crafts, so I started producing some artwork to sell and donating the profits to the charity.”
Yorkshire Cancer Research funds world-leading research to help prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer in the region. Paula first visited her doctor after she noticed that she’d lost weight and was having trouble eating. She was referred for further tests at St James’s Hospital in Leeds and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, Paula was told that her cancer was incurable. She spoke about how she felt after the diagnosis, saying:
“I didn’t go to the doctors immediately when I started feeling unwell. I meet up with a group of friends once a week and they gave me a push to make the appointment to speak to my doctor. It was such a shock when the diagnosis came through. “That’s something I’d want to get across to people, it feels daunting but it’s so important to go and speak to your doctor if you have anything you’re concerned about so you can catch the cancer early.”
Paula had chemotherapy to treat her cancer, and after two years of monitoring, was given a second round of chemotherapy in 2021. She now takes medication to prevent the cancer from spreading.
“After my treatment, I tried really hard to get where am I now in terms of feeling well. Chemotherapy can take a lot out of you, and I wanted to look after myself. It’s been a difficult journey, especially when your mind is constantly thinking about the cancer, but I’m pleased with where I am now.”
[caption id="attachment_78967" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Keep an eye out for Paula's Stall at charity events in the area. This was her in Bilton.[/caption] The mum-of-three quickly turned her attention to how she could give something back after receiving treatment.
“It was important to me to raise funds for a local charity. Yorkshire Cancer Research funds research in Leeds, where I was treated, so it felt like the perfect opportunity to help support the people who had supported me. “I’m not doing it for people like me, I’m doing it for people like my daughters and my grandchildren, and everybody else who may be affected by cancer in the future and can benefit from developments in cancer research. “When you think about the developments that have been made even in the past 10 years, it’s incredible. My mum and grandmother both passed away from cancer, and it was a very different prognosis then than it is now.”
Paula creates ‘crystal art’, a process which involves placing individual crystals onto a canvas to make intricate works of art.
“I’ve always made cards and other bits, but when I started doing crystal art, I just loved it. It’s really satisfying and once it’s finished it shimmers and shines. Lots of people really seem to like them, and I started doing them for Christmases and birthdays. I just love doing it. “I live with my eldest daughter and her family, and I’ve almost taken over with all my craft supplies and artwork. They’ve given me half of the garage to store everything.”
Since she started making the artwork, they’ve become popular amongst family and friends. Paula started selling them at her local cricket club, raising more than £400 for the charity. When Bilton Cricket Club organised a ‘party on the pitch’ event to fundraise for Yorkshire Cancer Research, Paula began creating art to sell at the celebration. Despite the rainy weather on the day, Paula was able to show off her designs to the local community and raise vital funds for world-leading research. Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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