TRIBUTES have been paid to a “truly inspirational” mum of three young children who sadly lost her devastating battle with cancer.
Mandy Short touched the hearts of many and amazed people with her bravery when she was diagnosed with cancer for the second time early last year.
Mandy was faced with heartbreak when she told the cancer had spread all over her brain in March this year and was given just six months to live.
At the time, in a brave interview with the Mail, Mandy said: “I’m not going to go thinking I could have done this or I could have done that, I have appreciated every breath like everyone should.”
Since the diagnosis Mandy has been on holiday with her three children, Christie Short, 16, Billy Short, 14, and Polly Scaife, eight, and a number of fundraising events have been held raising money to put into a trust for the youngsters.
But sadly Mandy passed away in the early hours of Monday morning, aged just 40, with her mum Carol Smallwood and close friend Betty Pepper by her side.
Mandy’s ex-husband, Chris, 41, the dad of Christie and Billy, said: “I have spoken to so many people who said their lives have been touched by Mandy in so many ways.
“I have never known anyone who showed so much courage and bravery, so many doctors, nurses and specialists have said the same thing to me.”
Mandy, who successfully battled breast cancer six years ago, was fiercely proud of her three children and was open and honest with the youngsters since her first diagnosis.
She previously told the Mail: “In my years of having the children I have achieved everything I wanted with them and I can rest in piece knowing they are going to be fine.”
Mandy, whose maiden name was Emmerson, was born and brought up in Torquay Avenue, in the town, before moving to Wolviston Court, in Billingham.
A former student at Brierton Community School, Mandy went on to become a hairdresser at various salons in the town.
Both friends and people who had never met Mandy came forward and organised fundraisers for her three children after hearing about her heartbreaking diagnosis.
She enjoyed the “perfect” holiday with her beloved children thanks to a donation from Ian Richardson, who faced his own devastating ordeal when he lost his wife, Joanne, 40, and eldest daughter, Mya, six, in a car accident.
After Mandy’s tragic death, Ian told the Mail: “It’s absolutely devastating, when I heard the news it hit me like a freight train.
“My first thought was the children, they are three of the nicest kids I have ever met and true credit to Mandy.
“No matter how much they knew what was coming, nothing can ever prepare three children for losing their mum.
“Mandy was truly inspirational, she will never be forgotten.”
Another who was touched by Mandy’s bravery and organised a number of fundraisers was Kev McGuire, a member of popular band The Style Selektors.
Kev posted on his Facebook this week: “You’ve earned your wings Mandy, you can fly as free as a bird and soar as high as the clouds to watch over Christie, Billy and Polly.”
Mandy’s family thanked everyone who has organised and supported fundraisers for Mandy and her children.
All are welcome at Mandy’s funeral which will be held at St Peter’s Church, in Wolviston, next Monday, October 14 from 1.30pm before a private burial for her closest family.
People are then invited to the Whitehouse pub, in Wolviston Court.