generous members of the Derbyshire Masons have raised £2,000 for a seriously-ill Belper woman.
More than 200 Masons got together to generate the fantastic amount, which will go towards Penny’s Fund.
The fund was set up to help Penny Wheeler, 51, from Beaurepaire Crescent, Belper, who suffers from two rare illnesses — scleroderma and pulmonary fibrosis.
Scleroderma causes the body to attack itself, while pulmonary fibrosis causes the lungs to scar and makes it increasingly difficult for Penny to breathe.
Masons member John Hall heard about Penny’s conditions and her fund. He got together with two other members from Belper – Ken Newton and Richard Moss – and decided to begin raising cash via the Masons’ large network of members.
Ken said: “We were so touched when we heard Penny’s story that we knew we had to do something.
“We explained Penny’s situation to our members in December and we immediately got to work raising funds.”
Penny was invited to attend a recent meeting where members of the Belper arm of the Masons presented her with the cheque.
The money will help fund Penny’s various trips to London to see lung specialists, an oxygen concentrator which aids her breathing, and a drug called rituximab which may stop her breathing condition getting any worse.
Penny said: “Since the fund began in November 2010 I have been absolutely overwhelmed with the support I have received.
“Ken and the members of Masons have really made a difference and I am so grateful to them for everything they’ve done and also to all the other people who have taken part in fundraising events in the past six months. Having the fund means I can travel to the various appointments I have to attend in London and that I have access to the medication and breathing equipment I rely on.”
To find out more about Penny’s Fund visit facebook.com and search for Penny’s Fund. Alternatively, search for Penny’s Fund on Google.