Gym joins effort to save Kenilworth mother after cancer diagnosis

Sophie Umhofer (right) with her husband Michael
Sophie Umhofer (right) with her husband Michael

A gym is joining in the effort to help a Kenilworth mother of two receive treatment to prolong her life after she was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer.

Sophie Umhofer was told she had stage-four colon cancer in June.

Staff at Curves Kenilworth, which is helping raise money to pay for Sophie's treatment

Staff at Curves Kenilworth, which is helping raise money to pay for Sophie's treatment

And after finding that the cancer had spread to her liver and lymph nodes, Sophie’s oncologist said she would have just two to three years to live if she underwent intensive chemotherapy.

Her husband Michael had previously spoken to the Kenilworth Weekly News about how he was desperately trying to raise money to pay for immunotherapy treatment for her.

The family, who live on Whitemoor Road, are hoping to raise £150,000 to pay for the treatment in the USA or Germany.

It is hoped the treatment will prolong Sophie’s life and enable her to spend more time with her children, six-year-old Maisie and three-year-old Freddie.

Now, Curves Kenilworth in Talisman square will help them raise the money by hosting several events in October. Sophie attended the gym three or four times a week before her diagnosis.

Denise Knight, owner of Curves Kenilworth, said she was devastated by the news and vowed to do what she could to help out.

She said: “When Sophie called to tell us what had happened I was completely gobsmacked. I’ve known Sophie since before she was married, and she has been coming to the gym for about seven years until very recently.

“Every year we show our support to a charity and this year it was a no-brainer to get behind Michael’s fundraising efforts.

“When we reached out to other businesses in the area, they were all incredibly generous and eager to help out.”

The gym held a coffee morning on Tuesday October 9, and will host a ‘handbag exchange’ on Monday October 15 which involves people bidding blindly on handbags donated to the gym.

All bags must be donated by today (Friday October 12).

Several prizes are also on offer in a raffle the gym is holding, including a classic car rental for a weekend and restaurant vouchers. The winner will be drawn on Tuesday October 23.

Denise added: “We’re hoping we can raise more than £1,000. We’re off to a great start already, with £500 being raised through early raffle ticket sales and our coffee morning.”

Anyone wishing to donate to support the Umhofers can visit Sophie’s GoFundMe page