Elaine Dunnicliff, 63, said surgeons “saved her life” after she was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2005.
The Melbourne woman, who says “you can’t put a price on life” decided after she had her kidney removed in 2006 that she would give back to the hospital by becoming a fundraiser and has now raised over £50,000 for Derby & Burton Hospitals Charity.
Elaine said: “Once you’ve been diagnosed you’ve got no control, you’re on the rollercoaster and there’s a fear of the unknown.
“I had a tumour which had taken over my whole kidney. I was frightened to death and I didn’t know if I was going to survive.
“I couldn’t fault the staff, everybody was wonderful from the second I went in. I’m so happy to be here 13 years on. I was so lucky.”
Elaine noticed a problem when she had very little energy and she sensed “something wasn’t right”. She went to see her doctor, who referred her to the hospital.
Elaine presented a cheque of £18,000 to the surgeon who operated on her, Simon Williams. This means that the grand total of how much she has raised is now £50,000.
She said: “He’s my saviour and my hero.”
This sum, for the Urology department at the hospital, was raised by Elaine through calendars, pamper nights, car boots and psychic events.
Elaine also stands outside the hospital weekly, selling anything from clothes to flowers to raise money,
Elaine, started fund-raising in 2007 when she realised she could organise events “straight from the sofa” when she could not walk after the operation, and has since produced five calendars featuring pictures of cancer survivors from Derby.
Elaine said: “A psychic once told me, before I was diagnosed, that I would go on to help a lot of people around 2005.
“He said he saw me in a nurse’s uniform and said I had so much love to give in my eyes.”
She added: “What price can you put on your life? I’ll carry on fundraising while I can.”
Elaine’s friend and fundraiser Dorothy Hubball, of Chellaston, said: “Elaine is an amazing lady. She’s done 98% of the fundraising by herself and I think it is incredible.”
Fellow fundraiser Barbara Robinson, of Chellaston, said Elaine “never gives in and never gives up”.