Kerry lost her daughter, Gemma, to ovarian cancer. She now dedicates her time to fundraising in memory of Gemma, and raising symptoms awareness in the hope it saves lives.
My daughter, Gemma, had been feeling bloated for a while, especially after meals. As a mum of a two-year-old boy, she was so busy running around she didn’t have time to worry about herself. It was only when she noticed bleeding after sexual intercourse that she visited her doctor.
The doctor found a growth on Gemma’s ovary, which he suspected to be a cyst and sent her for a scan. However, doctors wanted to do further investigations, and a laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) was booked for four months later. During the operation they found tumours all over her ovaries. It was ovarian cancer.
Days later, Gemma was wheeled in for major surgery, but the operation was called off because the cancer had spread too far. It was inoperable. There was nothing more they could do.
Even though she was often in pain, she never complained.
My daughter died when she was just 27 years old.
In memory of Gemma
On the first anniversary of Gemma’s death I launched a campaign, backed by Target Ovarian Cancer to raise money in memory of Gemma, and raising awareness of symptoms of ovarian cancer.
I started an online Tribute Fund in Gemma’s memory, and got to work.
For Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, I organised local schools and companies to take part in a purple-themed dress down day. We raised hundreds of pounds, including nearly £350 at a stall in Hinckley’s Britannia Shopping Centre.
I managed to get a lot of press on our fundraising. The Hinckley Times were really helpful and even put on a gala night with a raffle and an auction including a chance to have your name on an Eddie Stobart lorry. We raised over £5000.
In total, we’ve raised over £8000 in Gemma’s memory.
I hope that by fundraising and raising awareness about ovarian cancer I will be able to prevent even one death. It will help me move forward and I hope it will save lives.
Gemma was an inspiration and she deserves for this to happen.
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