The grieving son of a Sunderland woman who died after a brave battle with cancer has spoken of the ‘fantastic’ support the family got from Marie Curie.
Malcolm MacDonald’s mum Dorothy Dunlop – known as Dot – died in April, aged 72, just weeks after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Now the 27-year-old energy consultant wants to raise money for the Marie Curie nurses who made such a difference to his mother’s final journey.
“Earlier this year my mam had stomach problems,” Malcolm said. “She didn’t think it was anything serious at first.
“She went to get it checked out and was diagnosed with cancer.
“Six weeks later my mam passed away. It was very, very quick.
My mam was an amazing person and, even in her last few days, she was still cracking jokes and making everyone laughMalcolm Macdonald
“I’m trying to raise as much money as I can for Marie Curie.
“They were there whenever we needed them and the support they can give is priceless.
“At one point, I was awake for three days, and when they came in it was fantastic, I was able to get some rest
“Without Marie Curie we would not have known how to cope and there are thousands of terminally ill people who don’t get the care they need.
“Just the emotional support you get from the nurses is amazing.”
Malcolm, who recently moved to Hendon, now aims to raise £1,000 for the charity, by doing a sponsored skydive.
“I just want to let people know that it is such a good charity,” he said.
“Even just £20 can fund an hour of care.”
Dot, who was married to the late Kenny, was a care assistant prior to retiring, but was unable to shake off her caring side.
Living in retirement accommodation in Roker, she would help neighbours, even doing three ‘rounds’ a day to look out for those who needed help.
In 2011, she was praised by neighbour John Finnon, in an article in the Echo, for her support after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
“Yes, she was over 70,” Malcolm said. “But she was very active, she looked after other people that couldn’t look after themselves.
“She was really outgoing and positive.”
Dot, who was originally from Springwell, also had three other children; sons Stephane, 45, and Darren, 44, and daughter June, 38, as well as three grandsons; Stephane, Aidan and Jay.
Malcolm added: “My mam was an amazing person and, even in her last few days, she was still cracking jokes and making everyone laugh, including the Marie Curie nurses and the palliative care team.
“She was a character say the least, but also my best friend.”
To donate, visit justgiving.com/helpsupportmariecurie