Donating through this page is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with Cancer Research UK. My aunties name was Maureen, and she was more than just someone’s auntie, more than just my dad’s sister, she played a real part in making me who I am. We’re quite a small family here in Manchester, as some of you know I was born in Somerset and my Mums family are all still down there, so I had my mum, dad and brother and we had an uncle, who had a daughter and my 2 aunties. Me, my brother and my cousin spent every other weekend at my aunties, to give our parents some peace! We would run wild for a 24 hour period, we had dress up competitions, midnight feasts, food fights, water fights, staying up late watching the shopping channels, we would put cat food outside the back door, turn all the lights off and the little family of hedgehogs she had at the bottom of her garden would come and eat and we could be right next to them, but they wouldn’t see us through the window, she would let me invite my friends over and we would play with her many, many cats, there was always at least 5 cats at any given period, but it wasn’t just weekends. I spent my first Christmas in Manchester at her home, I got loads! We spent new year’s there most years, and all the family would come over, birthday parties, celebrations, always at my aunties house. I was about 14 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’d grown up a bit at that point, so didn’t spend as much time at her house, I remember my mum telling me not to worry and it’s just the start and they caught it early, so I was relieved and optimistic, she was only on chemotherapy tablets to start with, so we carried on as normal and, we spent the next couple years in the same manner, we started to go out to eat, and my brother would go foraging through charity shops with her to find something unique. Then I remember being told they had decided they would have to operate and remove cancer from the breast and she started that process, she went for a scan to make sure everything was okay. That’s when they told us that she has a cancerous lump attached to the bottom of her tail bone, so they couldn’t do the procedure on the breast, so she would now have to start chemotherapy, and she was fine for years, she would obviously get some horrible symptoms, her fingers would crack and split, she would lose weight horribly fast, her joints would ache, but she was just so happy to be here and with us all, she obviously had her bad days, which are expected, but she was okay. My grandmother, who had moved to Newcastle a few years prior, had become ill with dementia, so my auntie moved her into her house, had a stair lift fitted for her and changed her house, which was weird and wonderful and had little trinkets and bits and pieces of all her younger years she had spent backpacking across the world, so the house was accessible for her mother. I used to work at a supermarket as security and it was the supermarket my auntie would go to, so she would often come and give me a cuddle and I’d ask her how everything was going. One day, about 3 years ago she came in and she’d just been to Christies. She was talking to me like normal and then just told me that the cancer was terminal, it was eventually going to kill her and then she just walked off into the store, and I’m shell shocked, I get myself off the shop floor and just burst into tears, called my mum, I’m upset, but I’m angry that she has just dropped that on me, my mum was in shock. My work phone goes and my auntie is in tears at the front of the store, I come down and she’s crying her eyes out saying she so sorry and she had just found out and wanted to tell someone, so she came looking for me, I told her it was okay and we hugged. She said that the cancer on her tail bone had spread and got into her bones and once it was in your bones, there isn’t much they could do, but she carried on with her treatment. As the dementia for my nanna got worse and the chemotherapy got more intense, it was hard for my auntie to be the happy person we all knew and it started to get to her, she started to get angry and frustrated and she took that out on the people around her. She would still have good days, but she was always less and less in the mood for a lunch out in town, or even a night in, we’d go see her and she was getting worse, she was being violently sick and her stomach would swell. On the 30th of January I was on a late shift at work, I came in about 12:30, and at 13:00 I had a panic attack in the toilet, still to the day, I cannot tell you why, but I felt overwhelmed by everything, but sorted myself out, came back and got on with my shift, I finished at 8 and went home. My mum and dad came round at about 9, which was strange because it was late on a week night. My dad told me my auntie had died at home early that morning, she was a week short of her 64th birthday. Even though she had been ill for a while now, it was a complete shock and felt out of the blue, it felt like someone had punched me in the chest, I fell into my dad’s arms and we just cried together in my hallway for what felt like a lifetime. We sat down in my living room and just spoke about her, my youngest came and gave me a cuddle to make sure I was okay. My dad explained that she had been told on the Friday they were stopping treatment and there was nothing more they could do, and that she would have about a month to live and she died on the Monday morning. I wasn’t aware that she had been taken off the treatment. I had only seen her on the Monday previous to that and I said I would come back and see her the week after. My dad said she was still at her home and I could see her if I wanted, my brother didn’t want to, but I said I would come and see her so I did, I went round on the Tuesday, her sister my other auntie, who I have never seen cry, opened the door and we cried together a bit downstairs and she asked me if I wanted for her to go up with me, I said I would do it on my own. I walked slowly up the stairs and slowly opened her bedroom door. I walked in and saw her there. Her room has been filled with flowers, some get well and some sorry for your loss. I sat at the opposite side of the room for a while and cried. I pulled up a chair and sat next to her and spoke to her like I would usually, but this time with no response. She had been draped in bright materials and the collar of her first ever kitten was placed in her hand. I stayed there for half an hour holding her hand. I got up to leave, kissed her forehead for the last time and walked out, hugged my auntie downstairs and left. I had never been to a funeral before and didn’t know what to do, what to expect or what to wear, we all agreed to wear the brightest colours we had and there was no black allowed. I turned up early and there was just me, my partner, my auntie, my brother, my mum, my dad and my aunties best friend and we were coming up to the time that it was about to ‘start’ as it were and I was getting really angry, no one else had turned up, it was just a handful of people, none of her friend throughout the years, her family in Scotland, no one. My dad said the car was here and he asked me if I would carry her in, I said I would. I walked outside and there must of been about 50 people all stood outside, dressed brightly, flowers in their hands, I was overwhelmed, people had travelled from all over to be here to say goodbye. She didn’t want a wooden coffin. She’d hate that. So we got a wicker one and it suited her. We carried her in and everything started, they played some music for her, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison was one of them, my uncles friend had conducted it, because he knew Maureen and he was just good at this sort of thing. At the end everyone was just asked if anybody wanted to say anything, Anne, my aunties best friend got up and spoke about the years they sent travelling together and a few stories. She sat down and they asked if anyone else wanted to and no one else stood up, and I couldn’t let that be it, so I stood up and I had wrote something I was planning to say, but that went out the window as soon as I got up there. I just told stories of times I have spent with her, about how she bought me, my brother and my cousin a computer to use when we came over and we just messed about on the chair and it used to drive her insane, sliding it back and forward upstairs on the laminate, smashing it into the bed so it would throw us off, knocking on the wall in the middle of the night and then very badly pretending to be asleep. When we were leaving my auntie gave out tulips so everyone could take one and thread it into the coffin, it was really beautiful. When my aunties was going through all her diagnosis and treatment I always said I would do the Race For Life for her, raise a bit of money so it could help her, I know I could never raise enough to make a massive difference, but every little helps. I always saw the adverts on TV and said I am going to do this. I never did. I never did any fund raising for anything, not for Cancer Research UK, for Christies or for Macmillan, not one. So I am changing that now. I have to make sure that if it’s my mum, my dad, my brother, that I can at least try to do something about it and so I now give to Macmillan every month and I’m going to do the Pretty Muddy Race For Life and as someone who has never even seen the inside of a gym before, I’m a little bit scared. I’ll be having my traditional payday takeaway and then that is it! Better food, actually exercising and completing the course! And that where I need to ask you all if you would do me a favour. You’ll notice my goal is £500, that is because Bupa have very kindly said that they will MATCH every donation, up until £250! Which is amazing! Give what you can spare. Thank you.
Amy's Race for Life
+ £61.31 Gift Aid
Donating through this page is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with Cancer Research UK
I'm taking on a Race for Life Pretty Muddy to raise money to beat cancer
In memory of
+£1.25 Gift Aid
+£1.25 Gift Aid
+£1.43 Gift Aid
+£2.50 Gift Aid
+£5.00 Gift Aid
Cancer Research UK
Well done Amy, you just got your twenty-fifth donation!
With Cancer Research UK Giving Pages more of the money raised goes towards beating cancer sooner. Aside from the credit and debit card fees, every penny donated goes to Cancer Research UK.
All donations made to this page will automatically be transferred to Cancer Research UK.
All Cancer Types
Cancer survival rates have doubled over the past 40 years. Consistent progress is being made but improvements to technology and ground-breaking work offer new opportunities to find different ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and improve survival rates even further. Help Cancer Research UK improve results even faster.