Bowling alley in Spalding delivers coffee event for Carol

Carol Houlden (right) with Lucy Waite who jointly organised a coffee and cake morning at Alley-Catz Bowling, Spalding, for the charity Fight Like A Girl.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Carol Houlden (right) with Lucy Waite who jointly organised a coffee and cake morning at Alley-Catz Bowling, Spalding, for the charity Fight Like A Girl. Photo by Tim Wilson.
  • Cleaner at leisure venue proves herself as a fighter against breast cancer

Strikes, spares and gutters were set aside for one morning only at a Spalding ten-pin bowling alley where staff rallied round one of their own.

Carol Houlder (57) of Spalding, a cleaner at Alley-Catz Bowling in Westlode Street, is hoping to receive the all-clear from breast cancer after helping to organise a coffee and cake morning at the bowling alley last month.

When I finished my treatment for breast cancer, the oncologist said ‘go away, have a nice life and I hope that I’ll never see you again’

Carol Houlder, cleaner and joint organiser of a coffee and cake morning at Alley-Catz Bowling, Spalding

The event raised about £115 for the charity Fight Like A Girl, a support group for women fighting cancer and other diseases founded by Northamptonshire motorbike rider Emily Davey who was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2012.

Carol said: “The staff at Alley-Catz couldn’t have done enough for me to help organise the coffee morning and all of them were stars on the day, along with everybody who baked cakes for us.

“Money raised for Fight Like A Girl goes to charities like Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and others.”

Staff were inspired by Carol’s own story which started when she was diagnosed with breast cancer herself five years ago this Easter.

“It was a bombshell because I hadn’t got a lump on my body and I’d gone to the doctor for something completely unrelated,” Carol said.

“But they found some symptoms and I was absolutely shell-shocked because I truly wasn’t expecting it.

“I then asked the doctor ‘am I going to die?’ and the doctor said ‘no’.”

Carol underwent two operations, followed by three weeks of radiotherapy at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital and Lincoln County Hospital respectively.

“I wasn’t ready to die so I said right from the start ‘the cancer needs to be more frightened of me than I am of the cancer’” Carol said.

“The oncologist (a doctor specialising in cancer treatment) was absolutely brilliant and when I finished my treatment, she said ‘go away, have a nice life and I hope that I’ll never see you again’.”

Alley-Catz staff member Lucy Waite who, along with Sara Morris, helped organise the coffee morning with Carol said: “It was just something we all wanted to put on for Carol and Fight Like A Girl

“We’re now hoping to do something every month for different charities, starting with a 7-10 Split: The Impossible Shot for four charities this month.”

Matt Clark, company director of Activ Group of Companies which owns Alley-Catz Bowling, said: “Personally, I feel proud that our team have taken the opportunity to run an event and raise a good amount of money for a great cause.”

Lee Rudd of Holbeach, a fundraiser for Fight Like A Girl, said: “Carol came to me three weeks before the coffee morning to ask if we would mind if she put on the event to support Fight Like A Girl.

“She just wanted to something for the charity after seeing me and my family at the Springfields Motorcycle Show in Spalding last year.”

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