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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Tributes paid as 'bucket list' mum loses cancer battle

A young mum who touched the hearts of many with her courageous battle against cancer has died.

Inspirational Melissa Smye lost her fight on Sunday morning and died at home surrounded by her family and loved ones.

The 31-year-old’s courageous story came into the spotlight last year when her 11-year-old daughter Kate wrote a list of wishes she wanted to fulfil with her mum to create a lifetime of memories.

The public immediately got behind the campaign, called Kate’s Bucket List, and raised thousands of pounds to achieve a number of dreams last year including a family trip to France and a visit to London.

It was through the campaign page on Facebook that the news of Melissa’s death was broken to the thousands of followers from across the globe and since then, the page has been inundated with tributes.

One of the hundreds of people leaving messages was Lesley Edmondson who said: “Such sad news. Mel was a beautiful, kind, lovely, young woman who touched my heart with her strength of character.”

Katrina Burns paid tribute, saying: “What a lady, Mel has left an imprint on many a heart. Was an inspiration and always will be.”

And Nicola Holliday wrote: “A smile that no-one will ever forget. It shone as bright as the star in the sky that she is tonight. Rest in peace Mel.”

The brave mum – who also has a 15-year-old son called Jake – battled breast cancer for the past five years and was hit with the devastating news that it had spread to her spine last year.

Melissa, from Lowca, near Whitehaven, initially kept the details of her illness between family and friends, but made the courageous decision to publicise her condition to help build memories for her two children to cherish forever.

In an exclusive interview with the News & Star when the bucket list campaign was launched, Melissa said: “It’s overwhelming what Kate’s doing.

“She’s only just turned 11 but she’s very mature for her age. Because of what we’ve been through in the last five years she’s grown up quicker than normal children.

“She’s just amazing. She’s a very special little girl. Both of my children are amazing and fantastic.

“I’m fully aware there are a lot of other people out there in my situation. It’s very overwhelming and I’m very humbled by everything that is being done.”

As a final tribute to Melissa, who had a love for flowers, her family and friends are fulfilling one of her final wishes by covering her mum’s front lawn at Stamford Hill, Lowca, with flowers.

Whitehaven florist Rosebudz will take flowers on a daily basis (01946 63011).

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