Family of cancer mum plan to launch official charity after row erupts on Facebook

Rebecca in hospital around ten days ago as she underwent an operation to debulk her tumours

Rebecca in hospital around ten days ago as she underwent an operation to debulk her tumours - Credit: Archant

The family of cancer sufferer Rebecca Warren admit to being naive when they began fundraising for treatment and are now launching an official charity where the money will be held.

Jakki, Judy, Rebecca and Jenny Warren

Jakki, Judy, Rebecca and Jenny Warren - Credit: Archant

Terminally ill Rebecca, 33, is battling cancerous spinal tumours and her family, friends and people in the local community have raised about £16,700 for treatment abroad as doctors in the UK say they cannot cure her.

Last month a row erupted on her Facebook fundraising page with many people questioning whether the money had been, or would be, used to pay for treatment.

Speaking to the Post on Friday, Rebecca, of Cadiz Road, Dagenham, and her family said they were still looking for a suitable treatment, all the money was accounted for and that they were in the process of setting up a charity with the help of a solicitor.

We have spoken to the solicitors, Avery Emerson, which has confirmed that the family is applying for charity status and that once this has been accepted, the account will be checked by the Charity Commission and audited on an annual basis.

Solicitor Sukhjit Ahluwalia said: “The family want as much transparency as possible when it comes to the money. If there was any dishonesty they would not be going through this process. We have every confidence in them.”

The Warren family, including mum Judy and sisters Jakki and Jenny, admitted they were “naive” when they first launched their campaign to raise more than £200,000 in December.

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“We should have set up a charity straight away,” said Jakki. “But we’ve never done anything like this before so thought it would be fine to sort it ourselves.”

They also apologised for the lack of communication with their supporters over what was happening with the money, but added that they were dealing with the pressures of Rebecca’s illness.

The mum-of-three, who recently underwent her fourth operation to debulk tumours to prevent paralysis, said some people had questioned whether or not the former beautician was ill because she “looked well”.

She said: “I may look OK, but internally I’m suffering, physically and emotionally. I’m known as glamorous Becs and I don’t want to give up on how I look, just because I’m sick.”

The family said they would continue to fundraise and search for a cure. If the money is not used it will be handed to another charity.

A new Facebook group dedicated to Rebecca has been set up called Rebecca Warrens Support Group.