Terminally ill South Shields woman’s birthday wish for cancer charity donations instead of presents

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A terminally ill woman has selflessly used her birthday to enable her to raise £2,400 for a South Tyneside cancer charity.

Jean Lynch - who has ovarian cancer - encouraged her friends and family to donate to Cancer Connections, based in Harton Lane, South Shields.

The 54-year-old, from Chichester, South Shields, has been using the charity’s service in recent months since initially being diagnosed with the disease in 2015.

Jean, who for more than 13 years worked in America as a volunteer co-ordinator for the Girl Scouts, said: “I have been helped so much by this wonderful charity that I wanted to use my birthday as a way to give back.

“My cousin held a birthday party for me and people were also able to donate online.

“I’ve been delighted that family, and friends back in the USA have all been so generous.”

Jean first realised she was unwell when she started experiencing stomach pains in 2015 and she was then diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

After chemotherapy treatment she went into remission for a year, but in 2017 the cancer returned.

She is now urging all women to attend their routine check ups.

Jean said: “We have the NHS available to us all, women need to use it. Go and get the smear tests and mammograms. They’re free and they could save your life.”

Deborah Roberts, the charity’s co-founder, said: “This was such a generous thing for Jean to do on her special day.

“We are all so grateful, Jean is an amazing lady and she’s raised an incredible amount, she should be very proud.”