Real Stories
28 June 2024

“Cancer changed our lives, but CancerCare changed them for the better”

Why John has pledged a gift in his Will for CancerCare.

John and Sharon Gift in Will
Real Stories
28 June 2024

When Sharon Bruce was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in 2015, life was forever changed for her and her husband, John.

“Sharon had been suffering with frequent Urinary Tract Infections and so she’d been to Lancaster Royal Infirmary for a scan.” says John. “We were joking with the radiologists, ‘better scan her all over, just in case’. The radiologist obliged and said ‘Results will be next week’, waving us goodbye”

But one week later, Sharon got a call asking her to come back in so they could speak to her about her scan results. A few agonising days letter, Sharon and John sat in front of the nurse, who told them the scans had uncovered a cancerous tumour.

Sharon underwent surgery to treat the cancer at Plymouth Hospital, with her and John moving in with daughter Lyndsay in Exeter, whilst she recovered, but when Sharon was well enough, the pair moved home, back up north to Heysham.

“We didn’t know how we were going to cope with everything to be honest. We felt scared and alone and our finances were exhausted. Then one day, our oncology nurse told us about CancerCare,” said John.

“Cancer changed our lives, but CancerCare changed it for the better. Sharon was able to have massage therapy, go to yoga, and then, later, join a craft group there. Everyone there was so friendly and helpful to us both. They gave us a new ‘oomph’ in our life.”

As Sharon’s illness progressed, she told John that she wanted to write a Will:

“We decided that, after our children were provided for, we would give a percentage of our estate to two causes that brought a lot of joy to our lives when we were in desperate need; a Greyhound charity and CancerCare. We knew that the funds would help people who find themselves in a similar situation in future, perhaps helping them to enjoy some of the happiness that CancerCare gave Sharon and I in our remaining years together”.

Sadly, Sharon Bruce died in September 2018, but John remains in contact with the team at CancerCare, often popping in to the ‘Hug in the Mug’ cafe.

“I will be forever grateful to everyone at CancerCare; staff, volunteers and friends. I know that including a gift in our Wills to CancerCare was what Sharon wanted, and our way of helping the next people who need CancerCare’s support.”

Gifts in Wills are vital to the work of CancerCare; funding the support we provide to 1 in every 4 people who turn to the charity for help. When you include a gift in your Will to CancerCare, you help ensure that no-one in our local community ever has to face cancer or bereavement alone.

If you would like more information about including a gift to CancerCare in your Will, please contact Anna Webster on 01524 381 820 or email at

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