Two little girls face being left orphaned after doctors who at first thought their mum had appendicitis instead told her she was dying of cancer.
Helen Davy, 44, has been forced to prepare her little girls for life without her – and just years after their dad also tragically died.
The IT manager, from Rotherham, has been told she has cancer in her appendix, bowel, stomach, colon and pelvis.
Helen and the girls lost her beloved husband John just four years ago after he suffered a blood clot near his heart.
The widowed mum is now trying her best to make memories with daughters Annalise, eight and Kairen, five, while she still can, Yorkshire Live reports.
The brave mum told the Yorkshire Post she had been diagnosed with rare cancer Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP).
She said: “My first thoughts weren’t for me but for my girls and what was going to happen to them.”
Helen told the newspaper her daughters would go to live with her twin sister, which would hopefully mean they can stay at the same school.
She said: “All the money will go to the girls and their future.
“I don’t want to take them on some lavish holiday abroad, to me it is about having fun while we can and that doesn’t cost a fortune.
“We have a kitchen disco every Saturday and we are planning to go to Butlins as I sometimes struggle to do things due to the pain. I am also making some memory boxes for them.”
Helen said she first noticed something was wrong when she developed a limp and stomach ache.
At first doctors thought it may be appendicitis, but a couple of months ago she started having excruciating pains in her stomach.
Hospital scans revealed she had cancer that had spread from her appendix and was incurable.
She said she became angry at first when she was told she had a terminal illness, as she wondered if she would have had a different outcome had it been spotted sooner.
But Helen said she is receiving chemotherapy and trying to keep in good spirits.
She said: “I like to think of myself as being strong despite being only five feet tall and six and a half stone.
“I am determined to make it to Christmas and I will keep fighting as long as I can.”
Helen and her young daughters are also being supported by Sunbeams at Rotherham Hospice.
She thanked kind strangers who have donated to her family after hearing of their plight, along with family friend Paul Keeton, who set up a crowdfunding page to help them create some lasting memories together while they still can.
Pal Paul wrote in his fundraiser last week John’s death already “left a huge hole in the family.”
He wrote of Helen’s diagnosis: “It’s horrific and we just wanted to do something to help them in any way that we could.”
Paul set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for a trip away together for Helen and the girls, although she has since said they want to use it to focus on creating memories.
He added: “I just wanted to set it up as I wasn’t sure what else that we could do to help them.
“I can’t imagine losing a parent now, so I can’t imagine what the girls and the family must be going through. It’s just horrific.”
Paul continued: “We know that the money isn’t going to change the world but if it helps the girls to have a lasting memory with their mum that will be enough.
“They are just two girls aged five and eight who are facing being orphaned, it’s just heart-breaking.
“If this page can help make a memory for the little girls that is all we want.”
Paul added: “I just wanted to highlight that these kids have already suffered so much with the loss of their dad and are now facing losing their mum too.
“We just wanted to do something to help them.”
The fundraising page has already attracted donations of more than £10,000.