Tuesday, 01 December 2015

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'Wonderful mum' dies after two-year cancer battle

Tributes have been paid to a west Cumbrian mum-of-two who has died of cancer aged 44.

Paula Roberts photo
Paula Roberts

Paula Roberts, of Pelham Drive, Calderbridge, died in Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital after battling cancer for more than two years.

Her husband, Paul, 48, said: “I met Paula 25 years ago in a chance meeting. She was a beautiful, kind, loving and harmless person who fought to the end.

“She will be missed by so many people and was a wonderful mum to our two children – Luke, eight, and Leah, six.”

Andrea Takacs, volunteer programme co-ordinator with the Centre for Complementary Care in Muncaster, said: “Paula and her husband Paul turned up on our doorstep in the summer of 2010 in a state of shock having been told that her life expectancy could be measured out in months rather than years.

“Together we set out on an extraordinary journey which took us to places none of us could ever have imagined on that chill afternoon two and half years ago. Paula and Paul became our close friends and we became – I hope – their haven and second family.

“In due course, Paula succeeded in beating back her illness enough to join our board of trustees and take an active and enthusiastic part in our volunteer programme.

“She wrote perceptive and articulate letters of support for our funding applications, was a vocal and persuasive supporter of the centre and became a powerful ambassador for us in the local community.”

Paula, who worked as a liaison officer at Sellafield, was recently filmed for Look North TV. The piece will be shown tonight.

Andrea said: “By the time the film crew arrived last week, Paula was gravely ill. She was nevertheless absolutely determined to face the cameras and tell her story.

“Tell her story she did and she was magnificent.

“Within 24 hours she had been admitted to hospital, and last Wednesday – with Paul at her bedside – she slipped peacefully away at the age of 44.

“She fought her illness with grace, humour and a splendid – even breathtaking – bloody-mindedness.

“We published a tribute to Paula on the centre’s blog – and were caught completely unawares by the scale of the response to it. In the first 24 hours it has attracted nearly 2,000 hits and been shared over 400 times on Facebook and Twitter.

“Rest in peace, Paula. It was truly amazing knowing you.”

Paul is currently in the process of arranging Paula’s funeral.


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