‘I want to be at home with my kids’ – dying mum

Kelly Stoker (right), who is terminally ill, has been fund-raising for charity. Kelly is pictured here with her friend Kimberly Powney.
Kelly Stoker (right), who is terminally ill, has been fund-raising for charity. Kelly is pictured here with her friend Kimberly Powney.
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A MUM’S dying wish is to go home to her three boys.

Kelly Stoker has been given just months to live after doctors told her they could do nothing to cure her cancer.

The 27-year-old is now being cared for by dedicated staff at St Benedict’s Hospice, in Monkwearmouth, but is hoping to return home to Houghton to spend her final moments with her family.

Kelly, who is mum to Lewis, six, Clayton, three and Reece, two, said: “It’s really hard to explain to them what’s happening. Lewis has some understanding, but the other two are just too little.

“I still haven’t taken what’s happening in, but being around them helps to keep me focused on something else. I’m really looking forward to getting home to them.”

Just a fortnight ago, Kelly, who lives with partner Liam Wood, 26, was dealt the devastating blow that her cancer was terminal.

She was originally diagnosed with cervical cancer at Sunderland Royal Hospital, in January, before embarking on a six-week course of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy (internal radiation).

But her cancer was so advanced that nothing could be done to halt its devastating progress. Two weeks ago, doctors discovered it had spread to Kelly’s lungs. Now all they can do to help Kelly is to manage her pain.

Kelly had gone to her GP after sensing something was wrong. He then referred Kelly to have a smear test – her first ever. It showed an abnormality and further tests revealed that she had cervical cancer.

“Even though 25 is the age when women start having smear tests, I hadn’t had one,” she said. “It’s a disease that affects young women and I definitely think the age should be lowered and that women should be more aware of how important they are.”

Throughout the mum-of-three’s ordeal, Macmillan nurse Julie Lamb has been at Kelly’s side, helping her to cope with the physical and mental effects of living with cancer.

To say thank you, Kelly organised a charity night at Fence Houses Comrades Club, which managed to raise £2,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

She said: “You never expect to be told you’re terminally ill at this age, but Macmillan have been a huge support. Raising money for them is something I’ve wanted to do from the beginning, but I never expected to raise that amount.

“I’ve had so much support from friends and family. I’d really like to thank Kimberley Powney, Gina Curry, Toni Crosby, my parents April and Alan Stoker, and Callie Harker.”

Night of entertainment to help cancer fight

A Cervical Cancer Awareness Night will take place at The Meeting Place, in Pallion, tonight.

It’s been inspired by Sunderland University student Emma White, 20, whose mum died from the disease in 2001, when she was just 33.

The psychology student said: “Cervical cancer is 
the most common cancer in women under 35 in the 

“Many young women avoid going for cervical screening tests due to them thinking the tests will 
be embarrassing or the uncomfortable nature of the tests.

“Many women don’t realise the implications this may have and the importance of attending the tests.

“I, like many others I assume, would not have known what the symptoms of cervical cancer were and what should be treated as abnormal before I began looking into it.

“I think that if even just one young lady learns something about cervical cancer and the importance of screening through my event, then I have achieved what I set out to do.”

Tickets are £4 on the door for the gig, which features performances from Tommy & The Talls, Spitfiah Bob and Georgia Daniels.

All proceeds go to Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK.

Doors open at 8pm.