It was a birthday she wasn’t meant to celebrate – terminally ill Sunderland woman reaches 40

Kimberley Davis is celebrating her 40th birthday this weekend, she is pictured with her mother Lynn Straughan.
Kimberley Davis is celebrating her 40th birthday this weekend, she is pictured with her mother Lynn Straughan.
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A TERMINALLY ill woman is today celebrating the “miracle” birthday doctors feared she would never see.

Kimberley Davis was given just months to live, but continues to defy medical expectations as she marks her 40th birthday with family and friends.

Kimberley was born with a rare Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS), a genetic disease that leaves sufferers with broad thumbs and toes, short stature, distinctive facial features, and development problems.

Battling to overcome the obstacles the condition presents, Kimberley has always refused to let things get her down,

But, sadly, two years ago, her mum and full-time carer, Lynn Straughan, discovered a lump in Kimberley’s neck, which scans would later reveal to be non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Further tests went on to show the blood cancer had spread through her body.

Lynn, 59, of Fulwell, said: “This was about a year and a half ago. They told me then the cancer was terminal and Kimberley had only weeks, maybe months to live.

“From the bottom of my heart, I never thought she would see her 40th birthday.”

Lynn, Kimberley, family and friends will mark the milestone with a small party at Cafe 41 on Sea Road today.

Lynn believes Kimberley, a regular at Fulwell Day Centre, does not fully understand the implications of her condition, meaning she does not think about it or let it get her down.

She said: “We do try to keep things as normal as possible for her, but it’s heartbreaking to think about what’s coming.

“I only wish she would be able to get to her 50th birthday, but I know that’s not going to happen.”

Lynn, whose husband John died last June aged 73, believes her daughters refusal to give in is due to the determination she has had since birth.

“She was born fighting,” said Lynn.

“She had bronchial pneumonia and nearly died not long after she was born.

“The pain she puts up with is unbelievable, I know I couldn’t put up with it. I never in a million years thought we would be here today, it really is a miracle that we are celebrating this birthday.”

Lynn, who also has a son, Jonathan, 27, says Kimberley is now having trouble walking, with one of her legs badly swollen.

But she is looking forward to making the most of her big day with those she is closest to.

Twitter: @craigjourno