Meldreth mum dies three months after family launch fundraising effort
PUBLISHED: 08:53 13 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:53 13 September 2018
A Meldreth wife and mum has died from a rare form of cancer, little more than three months after a fundraising effort for life-extending treatment began.
Lysa Kemp was diagnosed with incurable malignant insulinoma – an neuroendocrine cancer – in 2016.
She had peptide receptor radionuclide therapy treatment at Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital granted on compassionate grounds, which gave her more than a year with manageable symptoms.
Thanks to fundraising from her friends and the community, Lysa could then go on holidays and days out to make memories with husband Stuart and children Carys, 13, and 12-year-old Kai.
In the summer of this year, after experiencing significant pain, it was found that one of Lysa’s tumours had grown rapidly in just six weeks.
Stuart – who married Lysa in 2010, seven years after they got together – told the Crow: “That was when we realised she needed more treatment as soon as possible, and the fundraising began. “£10,000 was raised in the first fortnight by the community - we were overwhelmed with the response. Lysa had so many friends and it is astonishing what people can do.”
The treatment cost £7,000 a time and she needed four in total. However, a week before it was due to start, Lysa’s kidneys stopped working. She did have the first course of PRRT but it sadly wasn’t as effective as they’d hoped.
Stuart said: “One thing after another was going against her but she never moaned. When the consultant said it wasn’t fair to carry on, we knew that was going to happen – but she’d fought that far and she was only 34. We were gutted.”
“She got a bed at Arthur Rank Hospice, where the staff were brilliant.
“When it was time, everyone left to give me and the kids time on our own with her and she took her last breath.
“It is a positive that she had time to say goodbye. It was very fitting because she was such an organised person – it all seemed to fall into place.”
Stuart said his wife was friends with everyone, she was caring, entertaining, a great cook and extremely family-orientated. She worked at Little Hands Nursery School in Melbourn and then as a teaching assistant at Meldreth Primary School,
More than £24,000 was raised for Lysa’s treatment.The remaining funds will now go towards rebuilding the children’s lives after the loss of their mum.
Stuart said: “I want to thank everyone who was there for Lysa – her amazing friends, relatives, and everyone who helped her cause Addenbrooke’s and her specialist nurse Debbie Pitman, Everyone at Arthur Rank Hospice, and the Willow Foundation, who paid for trips out when Lysa was ill.
A celebration of Lysa’s life will be held at the Holy Trinity Church in Meldreth on Tuesday, September 25, at 11am before a private cremation at Cam Valley Crematorium, and then a wake at the British Queen in the village at 2pm.
Those who wish to make a donation in memory of Lysa can do so to the Willow Foundation. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.