MORE than £50,000 has been raised in memory of a devoted wife who died from ovarian cancer.
Sarah Nixon, of Rickleton in Washington, was just 38 when she died in January this year from the illness.
The intensive care nurse left behind husband Chris, 41, and their three children Oliver, six, Sophia, four, and Poppy, who is now one.
Despite the family’s devastation at Sarah’s death, Chris, who says he and his children have been “completely shattered” by the ordeal, launched a fund-raising campaign to generate money for Cancer Research UK.
Charity runs, mountain climbs and cake sales are among the activities carried out by scores of people which have raised more than £50,000 in less than a year.
Mr Nixon, managing director at his dad’s company, Nixon Hire, said: “I wanted to raise the money. But there have been so many people – some of who I don’t even know – who have put on events in Sarah’s memory, which makes it all the more inspiring.”
Sarah found out just two months before her death, in November 2012, that she had ovarian cancer.
Chris says the pain of seeing his wife suffer from the illness is still very raw.
He added: “It’s difficult seeing anybody you know suffer from cancer, never mind your wife.
“She went very quickly from someone who was so fit to someone who was dying.
“Sarah was the type of mother who could carry the kids from one end of the MetroCentre to the other without feeling tired at all.
“That’s the message we want to get across, that cancer is such a horrible disease it can kill even the fittest people, which is hard to comprehend.
“But you can turn any negative into a positive.”
Chris added that he and his three children are still coming to terms with Sarah not being around.
He said: “There is a gaping hole in their lives now.
“They are happy children, but of course we’ll sit round to watch TV and it’s all about families and that makes it hard.
“Every single day they mention Sarah. Anybody who met her knew she was the most devoted mother you would meet.”
The fund-raising is set to continue with The Bellagio Ball, named after the Italian resort where Sarah and Chris got married.
It will be held at The Hilton in Gateshead on February 7 to celebrate Sarah’s life and raise awareness about cancer.
For more details, go to www.thebellagioball.org.