A mum forced out of work after she was diagnosed with cancer claims the cost of living crisis left her family feeling like they were begging for help.
Mum-of-one Camilla Wild, 31, was stunned when a blood test just before Christmas revealed she had Acute Myeloid Leukemia and she almost died after developing septic shock during the festive period.
But Camilla and partner, Ian Clark, had used all their savings during maternity leave with one-year-old son, Joshua, and claimed it would be just months before they lost their house in Bristol, reports the Mirror.
In a desperate bid to help, her family set up a GoFundMe to raise a year’s salary because doctors predict it will be 12 months before she has finished treatment.
She said: “The first thing I was worried about when I came round was money. In our household I was the higher salary earner and so I’m just constantly worried about money because we have a mortgage to pay, childcare, rising energy bills and all the other bills associated with having a house and a young family.
“We are two hardworking people. but we are getting to the point where we are worrying this much about trying to keep a roof over our head.”
The mum is still in the hospital and faces a grueling treatment schedule including another round of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Camilla is the operations director of her family-run software company, but the small business cannot afford to give her 12 months sick pay.
She explained that, while she and Ian had both taken out life insurance, they did not take out critical illness income cover as they were both young and didn’t think they would need it.
The young mum added that, after seeking advice with the Citizens Advice Bureau, she learned that all she is eligible for from the government is Personal Independence Pay (PIP). But the ‘minimal’ benefit which amounts to less than £100 a week can allegedly take up to 10 months before it drops into the family’s bank account.
The jump in the cost of living is putting household budgets under pressure, with some having to choose between heating and eating.
Here are some resources available if you need help.
Citizens Advice is an independent charity offering free, confidential support with legal, consumer, housing, debt and other problems. its site details what help is available and where your nearest bureau is, for face-to-face advice.
Helpline: 0800 144 8848 in England / 0800 702 2020 in Wales (open 09.00 – 17.00 Monday-Friday)
The Trussell Trust
The Trussell Trust supports a national network of more than 1,200 food banks, providing emergency food for free to those who need it. You can use it site to locate support wherever you live.
Helpline: 0808 208 2138 (open 09.00 – 17.00 Monday-Friday)
Turn2us is a national charity providing practical support to people who are struggling financially. its site includes a benefits calculator and details of schemes and grants in your area, including for energy and water bills.
Helpline: 0808 802 2000 (open 09.00 – 17.00 Monday-Friday)
However, they have been bowled over by the support of complete strangers and their loved ones, who have already raised £22,000 to help them get through the year.
She said: “The fact that people we know and people we don’t have donated generously to help us is what has touched us the most. Even in these hard times when every penny counts, people are digging deep for us.
“There definitely needs to be more financial support there. It shouldn’t be down to just a charity or having to set up a GoFundMe.”
The Department for Work and Pensions was approached for comment.
To donate to Camilla’s fund, click here
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