Thousands raised in memory of ‘truly special’ health worker who died from kidney cancer

Tracey Brew
Tracey Brew

Friends and family of a much-missed mum are hoping to gather a five-figure sum as they continue fund-raising for two special charities in her memory.

Health visitor Tracey Brew, from East Boldon, died in 2014 from kidney cancer at the age of just 47.

Members of Tracey Brew's family with Lady Elsie Robson (in red) at a charity night in Tracey's memory at the Roker Hotel.

Members of Tracey Brew's family with Lady Elsie Robson (in red) at a charity night in Tracey's memory at the Roker Hotel.

Her husband, Simon, children, Chris and Steph, and a group of her closest friends are together raising funds for two special North East charities which supported Tracey during her illness - the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and St Benedict’s Hospice.

Their fundraising events and activities – which include cycle rides, coffee mornings, Great North Runs, hikes and more – all come under the poignant banner, ‘We Still Wish You Were Here,’ and have included a live music night at the Grey Horse in East Boldon.

The sell-out celebration event at the Roker Hotel featured music by Marty Craggs and his Unexpected Visitors and The Ultimate Mercury Tribute, Joseph Lee Jackson.

Auction prizes kindly donated by businesses included a five-star mini break to Dubai donated by Hays Travel, which raised £1,600 thanks to the winning bid from Julie Lightfoot from South Shields.

A charity night at the Roker Hotel in memory of Tracey Brew.

A charity night at the Roker Hotel in memory of Tracey Brew.

Other businesses which helped include Santander, British Airways, the Roker Hotel, Barclays, Arnold Clark and many local firms.

Tracey’s family and friends and representatives of the two charities were in attendance - including Sir Bobby Robson’s widow, Lady Elsie, and son, Mark - and a huge £7,500 was raised on the night.

Lynda Kerr, who helped organise the celebration, said: “We’ve done quite a few fundraisers including the Great North Run, the Sunderland 10k, coffee mornings and things, but this was the big one.

“We’re thrilled by the way everyone’s pulled together and we’re hoping as much as £12,000 may be generated for the two charities through the event thanks support pledged afterwards.

“We want to keep the memory of Tracey Brew alive.

“She was very loved and a truly special person.

“It has all been a great distraction for family and friends and a chance to invest our energy into something positive, which Tracey would have absolutely loved.

“It’s been very worthwhile for everyone and a fantastic group effort. Tracey’s husband, children and her best friends have all helped, and that’s what’s made it all the more personal.

“Our thanks to everyone who has helped us do something special in Tracey’s memory and we look forward to doing more.”

Sir Bobby, the late former England, Newcastle United and Ipswich Town manager, launched his Foundation in 2008 and it has gone on to raise over £11 million to find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer.

Lady Elsie said: “I know Tracey’s family and friends have been fundraising for a couple of years now.

“I think it’s exceptional that people can react so positively after the loss of a loved one.

“We’re more than grateful for all their efforts and will ensure the money raised will be well-used.”