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Fife sweet shop owner given terminal cancer diagnosis after initially being told she had urine infection

June George has been diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer.
June George has been diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer.

When a popular Fife sweet shop owner was given the gut-wrenching news that she has only a year to live she made up her mind not to give up.

Despite being devastated at the diagnosis of stage four cervical cancer, June George is determined to prove the doctors wrong and keep fighting.

This is the second time June, 54, will battle cancer and she was initially diagnosed with a urine infection.

She has vowed to keep smiling and fight with everything she has.

June says she’s “not ready to die”

The popular Burntisland sweetie shop owner said: “I’ve way too much to live for – I am going to live longer than a year.

“One year isn’t enough for me, for everything I still have to do. I am determined to get longer than that.”

‘I’m not ready to die’

She added: “I am where I am and I’m giving it my best shot – I am definitely not ready to die and have loads of fight in me. I plan on being here for a lot longer than 12 months.

“I have my two children, and three grandchildren, Abie, 10, Jake, eight and Thea, two, who lives in London.

“The first thing I’m doing is going to visit her this week.

“I haven’t been able to go to see her because of my illness and the pandemic but I’m going now just in case I don’t get another chance.”

June runs the Aye Candy sweetie shop in Burntisland High Street.

June, the owner of Aye Candy in Burntisland High Street, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.

Since her recovery, June has kept busy not only with her sweetie shop but as the owner of a holiday home cleaning company in the East Neuk.

She also owns three rental caravans.

Worrying symptoms

In March 2020, just as lockdown was announced, June began to notice symptoms that concerned her.

She said: “I  started noticing that I was a bit incontinent and had a sore kidney.

“I got a phone call appointment with my doctor and was told I had a urine infection and got antibiotics.

“This went on until August last year when my doctor told me to get a smear test as it was overdue.

“I finally asked to speak to another doctor who sent me for an ultrasound.

“After that I got a CT scan then biopsies.

“I was then admitted into hospital to get a kidney stent in my kidney to my bladder and was  then told on the ward by a doctor that I had cancer.

“No one was allowed to be with me due to Covid.”

Advanced cervical cancer

After that June saw an oncologist at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, where she was told her cervical cancer had reached stage 4A, meaning it had spread.

“Again I was on my own because of Covid while my husband Michael sat outside in the car,” she said.

“It was at this point I learned I had an eight centimetre tumour that was very close to my bowels and bladder.”

June in her sweetie shop.

A treatment plan was created for June but coronavirus delays meant this could not begin until December 8.

She was given radiotherapy, followed by chemotherapy and at the end of that treatment she received three courses of internal radiotherapy .

‘Brutal’ radiotherapy

She said: “It was brutal, especially the internal radiotherapy, excruciating.

“I never saw Christmas or the New Year because I was so ill.

“Again due to Covid my daughter couldn’t come to see me and my son had to stay with a friend as my children are both key workers .”

Treatment ended in January of this year and when she went for her three month scan in March she was told the tumour has shrunk three centimetres and the doctor was happy.

However, last month there was more devastating news for June following scans.

She was told she had a three centimetre tumour on her liver, as well as cancer in her pelvis.

Last week she heard she only has 12 to 17 months to live and faces 11-hour chemotherapy sessions beginning next week.

“I have been offered no other treatment or clinical trials, my only hope is going down the route of private advanced treatment,” she said.

June said she has no idea if things would have worked out differently if she had been diagnosed and received treatment sooner if lockdown hadn’t happened.

She said: “It may well have made a difference but I obviously can’t say for sure.”

Fundraising for June

Meantime friend Cristina Davies has begun fundraising to help June.

Initially the plan had been to raise enough to buy good wig but almost £3,000 has already been raised.

It is hoped this could be used to partially fund a private treatment trial if one becomes available.

Cristina said: “Originally we wanted to get June a wig but I’m hoping to raise much more.

“There may be other options out there for June and her family to explore once she has finished her first treatment that may not be available on the NHS.

“Therefore she will have to cover this cost herself.

“It would be amazing to have a decent amount raised ready for her to start the ball rolling if needed.

“June has been through so much already and this devastating news has broken so many hearts.

“She is a very proud lady and wouldn’t dream of asking for any help.

“The next lot of chemo will be aggressive and  it would be great to raise enough to make things a bit more comfortable and less stressful for her and her family.”

Donations can be made at