THE FAMILY of Balsall Common siblings who face losing their mum to cancer weeks after their dad tragically died have thanked kind-hearted people who have donated to raise funds to support them.
As we reported at the end of last month, a donations page is dedicated to teens Louis, 16, and Ella Maley, 14, who have recently learned their mother, Emma, is suffering from incurable cancer and has been given less than a month to live.
The appeal has captured the hearts of the region, with the siblings still recovering from the loss of their dad Paul, 44, who died only weeks ago.
The page has now raised £26,341 made up by donations from 1,055 people in just over two weeks.
The ‘gofundme’ page smashed its initial target of just £5,000.
Cousin Kate Smith, who started the fundraising campaign, will help Emma’s mother who will take the siblings into her care after Emma’s passing.
She spoke with us this week and sent a message on behalf of the family to those who donated.
She said: “The family have been absolutely blown away with all the support.
“Emma would love to be able to thank everyone personally if she could.
“But we would love to put it out there, thank you to each and every person who has sent messages of support and donations.
“It has restored our faith in human nature.”
When asked about Emma and Paul she said: “They were soulmates – it was as simple as that – they were lucky to have found each other and they knew that.
“They had a very positive outlook on life despite all the tragedy they had gone through.
“They had been together 18 years and like any family they had their ups and downs along the way but always stuck together through thick and thin.
“They had very strong faith in themselves and their family – and especially Emma with her diagnosis – she really called on that faith.”
Emma was diagnosed four years ago.
Since then she had a double mastectomy – the surgical removal of the breasts – and a hysterectomy – the removal of the womb.
Ms Smith said Emma had a year of being ‘cancer free’ until around two years ago when it returned.
She was told she would not see Christmas this year.
When asked about how the family were coping, Ms Smith said: “Louis’s just trying to get through each day without his dad.
“And Emma’s just being really strong and putting things in place for them – for their future.
“We haven’t even discussed what we are going to do – its just been a whirlwind.”
Ms Smith told us of the strength of the teenagers who have been through such a difficult year.
Younger sibling Ella suffers from autism and requires specialist support and care to assist with her education and her transition into adulthood.
She said: “They’re both typical teenagers but having lived through so much tragedy they have coped incredibly well.
“So they’re very strong and I think they get that from their parents.”
Tragedy struck on March 8 when Paul suddenly died 11 days before the couple were to get married after being together for 18 years.
It is understood he was suffering from an undetected Arteriovenous Malformation growth on his brain.
Ms Smith said the fundraising page was set up in the hope it might provide for the sibling’s future life without their parents.
To donate please visit: uk.gofundme.com/louis-amp-ella-maley