When teenager Francesca Mancini suffered fatigue and pain in the joints of her fingers, doctors diagnosed the 19-year-old with rheumatoid arthritis.
Discovering she had a long-term chronic illness causing pain, swelling and stiffness was bad enough.
But a month later, in March this year, the young university student from Bishopbriggs was then given the devastating news that the diagnosis was wrong - and she was in fact suffering from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma - a cancer of the lymphatic system. Thankfully, after a major operation to remove a tumour and 14 weeks of gruelling chemotherapy at the Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow, which caused her to lose her lovely locks, Francesca has now been told she is in remission from the disease.
As a thank you to the dedicated doctors and nurses at the Beatson, the former Bishopbriggs Academy pupil, along with her aunt Daniela Lawson who owns Cafe Barga in Lennoxtown, are raising funds for the specialist cancer unit.
The cafe was taking part in The Big Beatson Bake Off yesterday (Tuesday), a fundraising initiative which is held annually throughout Scotland.
Customers were invited to get a slice of the action - with all proceeds from the sale of cakes at the Main Street cafe going towards vital specialist equipment.
Francesca said: “When the doctors gave me a chest X-ray before I started treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, they discovered a shadow on my lung which turned out to be a mass.
“I had to get an operatioins in April and they removed a tumour the size of a grapefruit from my chest.”
She added: The doctors, nurses and staff at the Beatson are so good. We are hoping to raise as much funds as possible as a thank you for all the support they gave me.”
Francesca, a Biomedical Science student at Edinburgh University, had to take a year out for her treatment and is now looking forward to going back to her studies.
She said: “I can’t wait to get back!”
The bake off event is held every year during the month of October to encourage people to put their baking talents to the testwith the aim of helping beat cancer with every mouthful.
Charlene Elliott of Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “The country has gone baking mad once again and we want everyone to get involved and raise funds to support the charity at the same time as having fun.”