Terminally ill Shirley Hellayr reaches £5,000 funeral target

Shirley Hellyar

Image caption

Terminally ill Miss Hellyar wants to stay in Newcastle where she has lots of friends

A terminally ill woman who had hoped to raise £5,000 to pay for her funeral has smashed her target.

Shirley Hellyar, 40, from Glasgow, thought she had beaten cancer and travelled to Newcastle to celebrate her 40th birthday this month.

However, while visiting friends she suffered chest pains and a scan revealed her condition was terminal.

An online fund has raised £5,570 so far. Ms Hellyar is in a hospice in Newcastle with weeks left to live.

‘Faith in humanity’

She was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2017 after a tumour was detected in her lung.

By early September this year, she said the tumour had shrunk and she was well enough to travel to Newcastle where she lived for years and used to work as a sexual health worker.

Miss Hellyar is in St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle, where she wants to remain and be close to friends.

She said: “The kindness people have shown is unbelievable – it has reinstated my faith in humanity.”

‘Wish you love’

More than 250 people have donated to the fund which was to help her parents Elizabeth and Gordon pay for her funeral, as well as travel costs.

Many left messages of support, while some offered to provide services at the funeral or places for her family to stay in Newcastle.

Val Campbell called it a “tragic situation”, while Martin Robson said he had been moved to tears.

He wrote to Miss Hellyar: “I can’t imagine what you must be going through but I wish you love and more. Holding your hand from afar.”

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