£3,875 has been raised for former East Cowes Vics Ladies player Natalie Blandford – who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer – to see her team West Ham United play one final time.

Natalie is too ill to sit in the stands with other supporters and will require an isolated box. Natalie’s cousin, Anne Hunt, and her mother Gill have now exceeded the £3,000 target needed to make this happen.

Anne Hunt wrote on the GoFundMe page:

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“Natalie is 39, has been a ‘tomboy’ for as long as I can remember (so I’m taking great pleasure in sharing a picture of her in a dress!) She has always been obsessed with football, sports and is a huge West Ham United fan. Unfortunately, the last year has been a horrendous year for Nat.

“Nat started getting toothache in January 2021. She could not get in to see a dentist, and the Doctor just kept giving her antibiotics and painkillers. He told her over the phone to see a dentist. She finally got to see a dentist in June 2021; he took X-rays and said she needed four teeth out gave her more antibiotics. (We have now seen the x-ray, and you can see the tumour). He did not notice it. They took the teeth out at the end of June, and the doctor took samples.

“In September, she got a call to see a specialist in Portsmouth who just asked, “what’s your worst-case?”. Nat said “cancer”. The Specialist said, “yep, that’s what you have”, and sent her home with a booklet!

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“[She] went back to the oncologists, who told Nat that she has a tumour in her upper mouth, sinus, eye, and nose. It’s an extremely rare, aggressive tumour called carcinoma of the sinus. She is stage 4 incurable. The oncologists decided that they couldn’t attempt to cut it out as it would be too dangerous, and Nat would potentially lose her eye, nose, and upper palate.

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“Nat is now on chemo to give her more time. When chemo stops, it will all grow back aggressively.

“Nat was lucky enough to be able to marry the love of her life at the end of December, but she has one more wish. She wants to see West Ham United play! As Natalie’s immune system is compromised from the chemo and cancer, she can’t sit in the stands with the rest of the fans and would need to go in the slightly more isolated box.”

After learning that the GoFundMe page had exceeded the £3,000 needed for the isolated box, Anne wrote:

“You are all amazing! I can’t believe we have not only reached but smashed the target in just 3 days!

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“I have just done a happy dance, had a cry and continuously phoned Gill/Natalie until they answered! Thank you all so much, everyone’s support, love and generosity is truly overwhelming.

“Cancer may be a bitch, trying to keep Nat down, but you have all helped to lift her up (and her family)

If anyone would like to donate further to help Natalie, the fundraising page can be found here.

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4 months ago

What a brave woman.
Here’s hoping West ham will hear of this and do the right thing and sort it for her without charge.
Up the Hammers !


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