A TERMINALLY-ill widow says she has been overwhelmed by the kindness of people after a fundraiser for her two children reached £20,000.
Helen Davy’s daughters Annalise (8) and Kairen (6) face being orphaned after their mum was diagnosed with cancer last month, having initially gone to hospital with suspected appendicitis.
An online fundraiser for the girls set up by Helen’s friend, Paul Keeton, has now passed the £20,000 mark after her story was featured on the front page of last week’s Advertiser.
“It’s caused so much positivity to go back into me over how kind people can be — and people I don’t even know,” said Helen (44), of Thurcroft.
“The generosity has been so overwhelming.”
Donations have come in from abroad, and people the mum-of-two worked with 20 years ago as a fitness instructor have been in touch.
“Whenever I can, I post updates to my Facebook page, but I can’t keep up — it’s a full-time job thanking everybody,” she added.
The money raised will go into trust funds for Helen’s daughters.
Helen and her late husband John moved to Rotherham from her hometown of Sheffield eight years ago.
They became “best pals” with neighbour Paul and his partner Lesley Crapper, who Helen said had been a “rock” since John’s death four years ago.
Helen joked the misfortunes she has suffered are “like an Eastenders episode — although they wouldn’t make it that cruel!”
In her case, the moment the iconic “doof, doof” opening bars of the soap’s theme tune would play would be when she was told she had terminal cancer on her late husband’s birthday.
“There would be so many Ofcom complaints from viewers saying: ‘Do you have to go so low!’,” said powerhouse Helen.
“You have to make light of it, otherwise it’s doom and gloom all the time.
“We are living for the moment even more now — it puts everything into perspective.
“I think looking at my story might make people more positive.
“I never expected the reaction it got — the amount of people this has touched has been unreal.”
Helen’s time is now spent making memories with her daughters and girl friends, who are all planning on getting matching tattoos.
She also hopes to return to work as an IT technician at Origin Broadband in Manvers.
Asked how she remains so upbeat, Helen laughs as she booms: “I’ve not got a clue!”
But she said she remembered how people reacted, good and bad, when her own father passed away when she was young, and said everything she did now was “for the girls” — adding: “We are the Three Musketeers”.
The mum is considering chemotherapy if doctors believe it will improve her quality of life and waiting for answers from her GP surgery, where she repeatedly attended with the same complaint.
“I think things would be different if I’d been referred sooner and had my appendix out,” said the mum, who was initially told she had a pulled muscle.
Helen said her cancer diagnosis was even more bittersweet as her work-life balance had “just fallen into place” since John’s death.
She added: “I just hope I have as long as possible with the kids.”
- Friends have organised a family fun day to add to the funds at the Travellers Rest in Brookhouse from noon on Sunday, August 1. To donate to the appeal, visit https://bit.ly/3zlgLed.