A DEVASTATED daughter who lost her mum to cancer less than three weeks after she was diagnosed with the disease has helped to raise hundreds of pounds for charity.
Former Hartlepool woman Shiela Elsy, 56, was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer on August 24 last year.
But just 17 days later, on September 10, she lost her brave fight for life at home.
She was cared for by Macmillan nurses in her last weeks and her family have held a charity event to try to repay their support.
A charity ladies’ night was held at The Village Pub, in Easington Village, which raised £809.50 for Peterlee Macmillan Cancer Support.
Shiela’s only child, Samantha Elsy, 30, organised the event with help from pub manager Gail Pallister and bar supervisor Jill Rutherford.
Civil servant Samantha, from James Street, in Easington Colliery, said: “Me and my mum were very close and she was very kind and generous and was always helping others.
“My friends also saw her as a mother figure and it was really hard when we lost her.
“Jill and Gail were already talking about organising some sort of charity event and when my mum passed away, we thought we would do it for Macmillan.
“We brought mum home for the last two weeks and Macmillan helped her – they don’t get enough recognition as far as I’m concerned.
“For a little village I’m amazed by how many people came together to help us.”
Shiela’s maiden name was Gyllenspetz and she lived in Elmwood Road, in Hartlepool, before marrying husband of 33 years Terence and moving to east Durham.
Samantha said her mum had suffered from sickness and diarrhoea before her diagnosis.
Medics at the University Hospital of Hartlepool discovered it was caused by liver problems and tests revealed the cancer, which had spread to her liver from her gall bladder,
Shiela had worked at the Alexander clothing factory in Hartlepool before moving to Horden and later worked as a dinner lady at Easington Comprehensive School, before becoming a carer at the Yohden Hall care home, in Blackhall.
Colin Austin, assistant secretary of Peterlee Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “I can never get over the kindness and generosity of the people of this area.
“We are meant to be a deprived area with not much money, but people go to great lengths and breadths to raise money for us.”
More than 120 tickets were sold for the night, which was held earlier this month and included topless waiters, beauty therapies and nail art.