South Shields woman to host charity night in memory of mum after family's ovarian cancer sadness

A woman who has lost family members to ovarian cancer is hosting an event to raise vital funds for charity.

By Hayley Lovely
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 12:24 pm

Jo Hogg, from Marsden, lost her mother, Lilian Elsie Williamson, in 2008, and has supported ovarian cancer charities ever since.

Jo said her mum was misdiagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and by the time medics discovered she had ovarian cancer, it was too late.

She was given only a matter of weeks to live and died aged 55.

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Jo and mum Lilian

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Jo, now 47, was pregnant at the time and remains sad her mum never got the chance to meet her grandchildren.

The pain of losing her mum was hard, but the disease hit the family again, taking the life of her cousin only in her 40s.

Jo, who is mum to Megan, 13 and Ethan, 10, was worried the she too would also be hit with the condition after tests revealed she carried the BRCA1 gene, which increases a woman's chance of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Lilian Elsie Williamson

It was discovered she had pre-cancerous cells, with further checks showing she had early signs of cancer.

Between 2013 and 2020, she underwent a number of surgeries including hysterectomy and mastectomy to save her life.

She said: “The last 13 years has been a journey and none of the surgeries I had went to plan, but I’m glad I’m still here today.

“Until my mum had ovarian cancer, none of the family had ever really heard of the disease, so it’s because of her I do what I do.

Jo's children Ethan and Megan

"Sadly, it took members of my family to die before I could be tested and I do think tests should be given like smears to try pick up on things earlier.”

Over the years, Jo has held various events to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Action and is planning another next month, taking place Saturday, 14 May at The Cleadon Club, in Fulwell Avenue, South Shields, at 7pm. The event will feature a buffet, live entertainment from Ophelia Balls, among other singers, and a raffle.

Businesses are already signed up to gift raffle prizes but more prize donations are also requested. If you can help please contact Jo on 07944613235 or email [email protected]

Tickets cost £10 and can be purchased from the venue or from Jo.