Richard E Grant and Sam Mendes’ film company donates to help mother with cancer

Actor Richard E Grant and the production company co-founded by British film director Sir Sam Mendes have both donated to “prolong” the life of a mother whose rare and “very invasive” cancer has spread.

A Bristol-based Go Fund Me page saw a £1000 donation from Withnail And I star Grant, while Neal Street Productions – founded by Sir Sam alongside producers Dame Pippa Harris and Caro Newling in 2003 – donated £2000 to the cause.

The fundraiser was to help a mother named Summer, who had been diagnosed with an inoperable cancer and given just a few months to live.

Sir Sam Mendes
Sir Sam Mendes co-founded Neal Street Productions in 2003 (Ian West/PA)

Summer, who shares a son named Emmett with husband Robin, is preparing to enrol herself onto The Aurora Clinical Trial in Southampton in the hope it will “give her some more time” with her family.

Oscar-nominated actor Grant has previously spoken about the death of his wife Joan Washington in September 2021, after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Grant married Washington in 1986, shortly after he had moved to London from Swaziland (now Eswatini) to pursue a career in acting. The couple had a daughter named Olivia.

Washington was diagnosed with lung cancer in late 2020 and told that she had 12 to 18 months to live, but died after eight months.

Olivia Colman awarded BFI Fellowship – London
Richard E Grant and Joan Washington (Ian West/PA)

The fundraising page for Summer said: “A few years ago Summer was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

“The cancer, called Squamous Cell Carcinoma, is rare, very invasive, unresponsive to chemotherapy and there are very limited treatment options.

“At that time Summer underwent intensive surgery to remove her bladder. We all thought everything would be ok.

“Earlier this year, at a check-up for an unrelated matter, it became clear that the cancer had returned and moved to Summer’s lung.

“Doing everything she could to fight this disease, Summer once again bravely underwent surgery. During the operation surgeons removed half of her left lung and some lymph nodes.

“Last week it became clear that the cancer has progressed to the rest of Summer’s lung and treatment options available will be to prolong her life not save it.”

The Support For Summer page has raised almost £22,000 out of the £50,000 target.