RESIDENTS are rallying for a cash-strapped single mum-of-three who has lost the sight in her left eye to spreading cancer.

Karen Ainscough, of Wigan Road, Atherton, was diagnosed with bowel cancer 18 months ago and has had to give up her job as a nurse at Seven Brooks Medical Centre on Church Street as she undergoes extensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.

The 41-year-old’s cancer has spread to her head, causing her sight loss, and she wants to safeguard the futures of her ‘amazing and beautiful’ children Bethan, two, Morgan, 15, and Lauryn, 19.

Karen said: “The cancer spreading to behind my eye and forehead is apparently rare with no guarantees of the outcome.

“So even though I will continue to fight it I need to think about the future.

“It is the toughest time in the world knowing there’s uncertainty surrounding the possibility that I won’t be able to provide for my children.

“I have worked damn hard as a single mum all their lives.”

Family and friends have set up a crowdfunding page and organised fundraising events to help Karen pay her bills and set aside a nest egg for her children.

The latest event will see around 100 wellwishers take part in a 13-mile sponsored walk from the Gardeners Arms pub on Lovers Lane to The Christie in Wigan and back on Friday, November 24.

Gill Riding, joint landlady of the pub and long-term friend, said: “Karen is such a selfless person and does everything she can for her children.

“She is a fantastic mum.

“Financially she has really struggled since her diagnosis and it would mean everything to her if we could raise enough money to make her situation better.

“The funds could also be used for her to have fun days out with her children and allow her to have a nice Christmas with them.”

Setting off at 9pm, participants of the ‘Gin Jaunt’ will call into various pubs on their way to and from The Christie, where Karen has undergone 50 hours of chemotherapy every fortnight for the past year.

Mum-of-two Gill added: “The Gin Jaunt should be a fun night and will allow everyone to have a good time as well as help Karen out.”

The club has held other fundraising events for Karen, including a bowling day, which amassed more than £600.

Plans are now afoot for it to hold a 24-hour darts marathon in her aid.

The JustGiving page with a £5,000 target set up for Karen by her friend Nicola Roberts has raised more than £2,400.

To make a donation visit To take part in the Gin Jaunt fundraiser contact the Gardeners Arms on 01942 709884 or call in to pick up a sponsorship form.