Widow raises £10,000 for hospice in memory of husband

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The loving widow of a South Tyneside dad has almost reached a £10,000 fundraising target in aid of a charity close to her heart.

Helen Mackerill set herself the challenge of raising the cash in memory of her late husband Paul for St Clare’s Hospice.

The 52-year-old died last August, after being diagnosed with melanoma. Since then, Mrs Mackerill and her two daughters, Emily and Sophie and friends and family, have been fundraising for the hospice, which cared for her husband in his final days.

The family have also raised funds for Macmillan Nurses, which also cared for the father-of-two.

The money has been raised through a number of fundraising ventures, including a karaoke night, an ‘in-between soiree’ – organised by Gino and Elaine Minchella from South Shields restaurant Bravi – with bands Barely Human and Four Worried Men raising £1,174.92.

Thirty two people wearing Bob the Builder Hats also braved the icy waters of the North Sea on Boxing Day.

We would like to thank everyone involved.

Helen Mackerill

A Jolly Jumper Day held at Ashley Primary School raised £400 and Siemans staff raised £1,452.

Mrs Mackerill, from Rydal Gardens, South Shields, said: “We are so excited that we are almost at our £10,000 target for St Clare’s Hospice, the kids are over the moon.

“We’ve got a few more events that we are going to be taking part in so hopefully it won’t be too long before we reach our target.

“We would like to thank everyone involved and will continue with our fundraising and raising awareness for St Clare’s and Melanoma.”

The family also plan to hold future events in aid of the hospice.

Mr Mackerill, who had his own company PM Joinery Services and worked on bars across South Tyneside, was first diagnosed with melanoma in 2011 after a mole on his chest became cancerous.

It was removed in the December of that year but, by the following September, it was discovered the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes.

He underwent another operation and was continually monitored.

Last year, he became ill again, this time losing his hearing. It had been thought he was suffering from Labyrinthitis – an inner ear infection which resulted in him losing his hearing.

It was later discovered he had brain tumours including growths in his ears.

Over time his health deteriorated and he was eventually cared for at St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow.

Anyone who would like to donate can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/Helen-Mackerill1/ and choosing St Clare’s Hospice.