DCSIMG

Concert pays tribute to brave Cheryl

CELEBRATION OF COURAGE ... conductor Gary Young with the Peoples Missions Church Junior Band in the street where Cheryl Mullen, pictured below, lived before losing her fight with cancer.

CELEBRATION OF COURAGE ... conductor Gary Young with the Peoples Missions Church Junior Band in the street where Cheryl Mullen, pictured below, lived before losing her fight with cancer.

THE partner of a woman who “always had a smile” despite her decade-long battle with cancer has told of her courage in the face of the disease.

Cheryl Mullen, 47, died at St Clare’s Hospice, Jarrow, in October – just months before she would have been able to test a new cancer drug to help prolong her life.

The mother-of-two, who was a cabin crew member for British Airways for over 20 years, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. The condition spread to her liver and brain.

Despite losing her hair and undergoing several bouts of chemotherapy, her long-time partner Graeme Ferry says she “would never moan”.

Friends and family packed Whitburn Parish Church to celebrate her life at her funeral, with donations on the day raising nearly £900 for local charity Cancer Connections.

Neighbour Tracey Brydon also organised a fundraising concert by the People’s Mission’s Church Junior Band in the street where the family lived, raising hundreds of pounds more for St Clare’s Hospice.

Mr Ferry, 50, who lived with Cheryl and their two children, Olivia, 14 and Tom, 11, in Sea View Park, Whitburn, said: “The funeral was a celebration of her life. We all wore something pink and had poppies on. Cheryl loved poppies and it was quite close to Remembrance Sunday.

“So many people turned up, they had to put out extra chairs at the back of the church.

“She was diagnosed in 2003 with breast cancer and had to have a masectomy. She had chemotherapy and was given the all-clear for eight months. But then the cancer came back to her liver.”

During her long battle with the condition, Cheryl also had to undergo an operation for a brain tumour.

But Mr Ferry says she never gave up hope.

He said: “She always had a smile.

“She never, ever moaned about her condition. We have two children and they knew everything that was going on.

“They thought she was invincible because she kept on going. They have been magnificent and have handled things very well.”

Mr Ferry says his beloved partner was to be put forward for TDM1 – a new cancer drug currently being trialled – but could not stave off the condition any longer.

He added: “She was only in St Clare’s Hospice for a couple of hours.

“If there is a blessing, it is that she did not suffer. That would have been too much to bear after all of the ups and downs of the last 10 years.”

Mr Ferry, who had been with Cheryl for 17 years, praised the support of both St Clare’s Hospice staff and of Cancer Connections.

He added: “She was only in the hospice for a couple of hours, but everyone there was lovely, very helpful and compassionate.

“She used to go to Cancer Connections for reflexology and a foot masage. They were also very good.

“Cheryl was really cheerful and always had a smile. She was bubbly and got on with everybody. She was a wonderful person.”

Twitter @shieldsgazchris

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page