Fund-raiser for Sheffield woman diagnosed with rare cancer smashes £8,000 target

Sheffield Half-Marathon: Nearly £30,000 raised after fund-raiser set up by Sheffield woman with rare form of cancer

Molly and Alicia
Molly and her sister, Alicia. Photo: Alicia Midgley

Sheffield-born Molly Midgley, 26, had her life turned around in January 2023 following her diagnosis with rare cancer, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC).

ACC is a rare form of adenocarcinoma, a form of cancer which originates in the glandular tissues, commonly arising in the major and minor salivary glands of the head and neck.

While research is underway, made possible by charities such as Salivary Gland Cancer UK, there is currently no cure and the disease is deemed inoperable.

Molly’s family and friends, however, have banded together in recent weeks – both online and in parks and fields across the Steel City – as they completed the Sheffield Half-Marathon on March 26, 2023.

The fundraiser’s aim was to complete “one million metres for Molly”, by having 100 people wearing Salivary Gland Cancer UK t-shirts while competing in the race, running 10,000 metres each.

A Go-Fund-Me page was set up by Molly’s younger sister, Alicia, 19, who hopes that funds raised by the community will help spread awareness of ACC – and hopefully aid researchers in finding a cure for rare salivary gland cancers.

Alicia stated: “It all came as such a surprise for our family.

“Molly was three years into an admin role at a law firm in Sheffield which she has, of course, had to put on hold as she has radiotherapy Monday to Friday each week.

“No one at the age of 26 is prepared to be diagnosed with a rare, inoperable cancer with no real cause or way-out – and the fact that Molly may not be able to live out the life she has planned is hard for us to come to terms with as a family.

“She had a nephew born in October and we just hope that he gets to grow up with his auntie, because she has been amazing with him.

“The marathon has seen friends, family, friends of family and more come together to support Molly and the charity, with lots of banners being made in the process, with Salivary Gland Cancer UK even sending us some t-shirts to help us spread the message.

“Ultimately it is about raising awareness for the charity and the impact lots of little donations can make.”

The fund-raiser has seen over 1,000 separate contributions since it was launched on January 15, with the initial target of £8,000 being reached within the first week following more than 300 contributions.

The challenge now looks beyond the marathon, as Molly continues to gather friends and family as they set out to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on August 19 this year to continue to raise funds for Salivary Gland Cancer UK.