HUNDREDS gathered to pay their respects to a 29-year-old “fighter who inspired in life and death.”
An emotional service was held at St Paul’s Church, Ryhope, to remember Kelly Bainbridge-Flor who lost her four-year battle with cancer on New Year’s Day.
Family and friends packed the church - where two years ago Kelly had married her husband Dino Flor - to remember a brave woman they described as generous, cheerful and hard-working with a zest for life.
Reverend David Chadwick led the service which featured some of Kelly’s favourite songs including In The Arms of An Angel by Sarah McLachlan and a ballad version of Cascada’s Everytime We Touch.
Mourners also listened to a recording of Kelly when she was a child telling a story, which was played as a testament to her imagination.
The former Farringdon School pupil, who grew up in Ryhope and Silksworth, was first diagnosed with breast cancer when she was only 25, making her one of the youngest women in the region to suffer from the disease.
Despite the shock diagnosis, she remained strong and was determined to beat the illness and inspire other young women to be more aware of cancer.
After a double-mastectomy and treatment including chemotherapy she hoped she’d beaten the disease.
But, two years ago, she was dealt a devastating blow when she was told that the cancer had returned in her brain. The form was so rare and affected such a large amount of Kelly’s brain, that medics were unable to operate.
They gave Kelly just weeks to live, but she was determined to fight on.
She went on to live for another two years, marrying Dino in the summer of 2011 and enjoying a year of “normal” married life at a flat in Moorside before the pain became so bad that Kelly had to move to St Benedict’s Hospice in Ryhope.
She remained there for the past nine months and died just hours after seeing in the new year in the arms of Dino.
Her family asked that donations be made to the hospice in lieu of flowers. After yesterday’s service, Kelly was laid to rest at Ryhope Cemetery.