Stevenage lawyer to host World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event after leukaemia battle

Karen Newman, with 10-year old son, Jamie. Picture: Karen Newman

Karen Newman, with 10-year old son, Jamie. Picture: Karen Newman - Credit: Archant

A Stevenage lawyer is hosting a World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event to give back to the charity which helped her battle through leukaemia.

Karen Newman, who works at Barnes & Partners Solicitors in the Old Town, will be among those hosting a Macmillan Cancer Support fundraiser on September 29 after the charity helped her through 12 months of treatment.

The 45-year-old, who lives in Titmore Green, was diagnosed in October 2016 with acute myeloid leukaemia – a rare and aggressive cancer which causes abnormal white blood cells to produce at a rapid rate.

After being diagnosed in A&E at Lister Hospital, she was immediately sent by ambulance to the University College Hospital in London – which has its own Macmillan cancer centre – where she received intensive treatment and has now made a remarkable recovery.

“It’s a nasty cancer because of the time it takes away from your family, but I had amazing support from everybody,” said Karen.

“Macmillan provides all sorts of help, such as counselling and emotional support for families. They’ve provided amazing support.”

The lawyer’s coffee morning is open to the public and takes place at the Barnes & Partners office – next to Coral in Stevenage High Street – from 10am to 12 noon. Karen will also be joined by her son Jamie, aged 10.

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“He has had to grow up very quickly,” Karen said of her son.

“When I had the treatment, I would be in the hospital for six to eight weeks at a time. I was there over Christmas and new year, so it ruined his Christmas really.”

The Stevenage mum hopes to raise as much money as possible for Macmillan. To help increase donations, her company will also be having a raffle and a Barnes & Partners bake off, where a representative from each office will contribute a cake and judges – one being Jamie – will determine which office has won. She also has lots for friends and family coming along to support her and bring cakes, as well as enlisting the help of Jamie’s football team, Bedwell Rangers FC.

A number of businesses in the area, including the Novotel Stevenage and the town’s APM Property Refurbishments, have been showing their support by donating money and prizes to the raffle, which includes food hampers, a wine selection gift, tea for two are the Novotel Hotel and three personal training sessions with CollyPower Fitness.

Businesses also holding coffee mornings on Friday, September 29 – the date for the 2017 World’s Biggest Coffee Morning – include Adecco from 10.30am in Stevenage town centre and Red Brick Management in High Street from 11am.

To find out more about Macmillan, and to see where your nearest coffee morning is, visit