'Heartbreaking': Young sisters face being orphaned after mum is diagnosed with terminal cancer four years after dad’s death

Two young sisters face being orphaned after their mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer four years after the death of their dad.

Helen Davy, aged 44, from Thurcroft, Rotherham was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer just five weeks ago - on her late husband's birthday.

Ironically, her beloved husband, John, who died at 37 after suffering a blood clot, was an NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme manager, reports The Star.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The word heartbreaking doesn't come close,” said Helen, holding back her tears.

Helen Davy with her husband John, who passed away four years ago, with their children Annalise, eight and Kairen, five (Photo: Helen Davy)
Helen Davy with her husband John, who passed away four years ago, with their children Annalise, eight and Kairen, five (Photo: Helen Davy)

Her children, Annalise and Kairen, are just eight and five.

She added: “I was on my own when I found out. I went in with appendicitis but that was suspected because of the result from the scan. And my life just kept falling apart and falling apart.

“The most ironic thing was John worked for Public Health England and he was the programme manager for bowel cancer.

“I found out I had bowel cancer on his birthday - you really can't make this up. It's so awful in so many different ways it's unreal.”

Helen, 44, was diagnosed with terminal cancer five weeks ago - on her late husband's birthday.

Helen has been informed that her cancer is aggressive, it has spread to other parts of her body and tragically she only has a few months to live.

Determined to make the most of her time with her daughters, she wants to create as many lasting memories as possible with them over her remaining months.

Following her diagnosis, friends launched an online fundraising page to help the family through the difficult times.

Over £5,500 has been donated since it was set up earlier this week.

Reflecting on her daughters, she said: “They're alright - they’ve got a lot of support. We are the three musketeers, and always have been for the last four years.

“The fund is all for them, all of it. So that I know when I'm gone, sooner rather than later, they are taken care of.

“It's heartbreaking because they don't deserve this. I don't care about me. It's them,” she said, adding that they have not received any financial aid from the government apart from family credit since her husband’s death.

Helen, who used to work as an accounts manager at Origin Broadband, said she is now on painkillers and other medication before she decides whether or not to undergo gruelling chemotherapy treatment.

Her friend of seven years, Claire Marchant, 49, hopes the fundraiser is a help to Helen.

She said: “She’s got mortgage to pay as she had to give up work as she’s got no income now. She can’t drive anymore because she can’t function very well as she’s on morphine.”

Paul Keeton, who set the page up and is running 5k every day for four weeks for the donations, said: “Heartbreakingly Helen has been dealt the most devastating news that’s she’s terminally ill. Helen has stood strong and done a fabulous job of parenting whilst keeping her trademark smile and positive attitude throughout. Recently she has shown the courage and determination I can’t comprehend.

“Feeling worthless and unable to make this better we have decided to set up this page as some way of showing our love and support to our dear friend and her wonderful children.”

If you’d like to donate, please go to the Go Fund Me page here.