Fat Cat pub landlady Annie Keatley shows she won’t let cancer destroy her spirit

Annie Keatley, landlady of the Fat Cat who has incurable cancer but wants to raise money for Somersh

Annie Keatley, landlady of the Fat Cat who has incurable cancer but wants to raise money for Somersham Ward by completing her bucket list.

When Ipswich pub landlady Annie Keatley was given the devastating news that she had an incurable cancer she was determined not to let the disease break her spirit.

The keen speedway fan set up a “bucket list” of things she wanted to achieve – and is now preparing for the next of these when she rides around the Foxhall track with local legend Chris Louis next month.

Annie, 52, runs the Fat Cat pub in Spring Road – and was given the diagnosis four years ago after was found to have broken bones in her back.

She said: “I have myeloma, which can be treated with stem cell transplants – but I know I can never be fully cured.

“Right now I am in remission and am able to take on things like this – and I want to carry on living life to the full for as long as I can.”

She is now raising money for Somersham Ward at Ipswich Hospital where she has been treated. She is hoping to raise £3,000 but would love it if more came in!

Last weekend she achieved another of her bucket-list aims when she went to the British Speedway Grand Prix at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

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“When I got there Chris and Julie (Louis) had arranged for me to go in the pits. It was fantastic. Then I walked the track with Greg Hancock, the world champion. It was fantastic.”

Annie is aware that her condition could return. “I had a transplant three years ago and that kept me going until the end of last year when I had another. I’m good now – but I know that it hasn’t gone away for good.

“The doctors tell me it’s unusual to see this form of cancer in someone who isn’t that old – but I just have to get on with it.”

She was determined to help Somersham Ward because she had seen the superb work of everyone working on the ward.

“I’m a former nurse myself, so I know what to look out for. I’m looking on what they’re doing as a professional and they are very good indeed,” she said.

On August 6, the Fat Cat is sponsoring the Witches’ home meeting with Workington.

During the meeting Chris Louis will take Annie for four laps on the back of his machine, showing her what its really like to ride with “No brakes, no gears and no fear.”

Anni said: “I really want to thank Chris and Julie for all their help. They’re great friends of ours and we could not have done this without them.”

If you want to sponsor Annie, visit her charity page at: https://www.justgiving.com/Anne-Keatley1/