THOUGH this may be her last Christmas, selfless Kelly Bainbridge-Flor has spent it reaching out to others.
The terminally-ill 28-year-old battled deteriorating health to give out gifts and deliver some festive cheer to patients who will be spending Christmas at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Last month, Kelly, from Moorside, who has inoperable brain cancer, appealed to Echo readers for donations of presents she could give out at the hospital’s cancer ward.
She said: “We were so pleased with the response, we got around 60 gifts in total. We never expected to get that many.
“People at Jacky White’s market who I’ve never met before set up collection buckets for the appeal with the article stuck next to it, which was really lovely.
“I had quite a lot of gifts in the post too.”
Kelly handed out the gifts with sister Katie Bainbridge, 13, and friend Kelly Miller, 28.
It was a poignant gesture for Kelly who was not expected to see last Christmas after being given a week to live when diagnosed with an extremely-rare brain cancer in July 2011.
She has gone on to surpass doctors’ expectations and, though she is often bed-ridden, says she takes each day as it comes.
At her side is husband Dino, who helps Kelly, who has to take more than 20 different medications a day, as her health deteriorates.
Kelly said: “I know what it’s like to be in hospital at Christmas and New Year and it’s horrible. I thought that once visiting time is over and your friends and family have gone home, it would be nice if someone popped in to deliver a present.”
Kelly was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, after doctors discovered a golf-ball sized tumour in her left breast.
Aged just 25, she made the decision to have her healthy right breast removed as well to lessen the chances of breast cancer returning.
Once she had completed her treatment she returned to a normal life, only to be told that she had developed inoperable secondary cancer in her brain.
Nothing can be done to treat the disease, carcinomatous meningitis, a type of cancerous meningitis.