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Patrick, Jo and Anna
Babbacombe's stylish Italian cafe restaurant, Milan-Milan recently dedicated an evening of fine dining to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Thanks to the generosity of all concerned, £1,100 was raised for Macmillan.
Milan-Milan| has been running for four years under the management of Patrick and Louise Ward. The night was organised after head chef, Jo Ford was recently diagnosed with a life limiting cancer.
Jo, aged just 44, began her catering career at South Devon College and has specialised in catering on location for film and TV companies. Last April she felt unwell and following hospital investigations, inoperable small cell lung cancer was diagnosed due to smoking. Jo lost her hair after chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She was given 6 to 12 months to live.
Jo said: ‘Initially, after the diagnosis, I was in a state of panic, fear set in. How do I deal with this? However, I’ve been overwhelmed by everyone’s support and generosity, from both friends and medical staff there have been cards, gifts and even soup. At one time it was all I could eat. While not living in denial, I am determined to get on with life and enjoy all that life can offer. I’ve particularly appreciated the help offered by Macmillan, both in the hospital and at The Lodge cancer support centre. They are so reassuring and kind, provide easy to read information and offer practical support. They’ve been great.’
Her friend and virtual ‘surrogate mother’ Anna said: ‘I was in shock that one so young and dear to me could have such a prognosis and yet I’ve been amazed by her positive attitude, resilience and zeal for life. Jo really does live life to the full, in recent weeks she’s been to New York with her sisters and Morocco. Our Macmillan night was incredible; we have an excellent rapport with our customers and everyone knows Jo so we had a packed house, full of Italian delights and great raffle prizes. It was a night we will always remember.’
Milan-Milan proprietor Patrick Ward said: ‘I’m most grateful to our regulars, friends, staff and suppliers for their generosity in enabling us to raise £1,100 on Jo’s special night. We charged £25 for a four course supper and thanks to our suppliers, especially GB Fisheries, Steers and Fresh and Fruity greengrocers, and AW Luscombe Butchers, 100% went to Macmillan.’
Calvin Lovelock, Macmillan’s fundraising manager said: ‘Jo Ford is a really courageous lady and I feel privileged to have met her. Milan-Milan staff clearly have a very personal relationship with their customers and I’m really struck by their generosity of spirit in responding to Jo’s most challenging situation in such an inspiring manner. They have my grateful thanks for all they have done in supporting Jo and raising funds for Macmillan which has recently begun funding two more cancer care specialists in South Devon.’
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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