Mother will walk in memory of beloved daughter Mandy

SUFFOLK: A grieving mother is today preparing for a charity walk in memory of her 37-year-old daughter who died after fighting cancer a staggering five times.

Mother-of-one Mandy Emms, of Roundwood Road, Ipswich, faced constant battles with different forms of the illness until it eventually claimed her life last July.

Next month, her mother, Margaret Fish, will be taking part in a walk to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice, where Mandy spent her final days.

There are only a few days left in which to register for the Midnight Walk on Saturday, May 22, which will be attended by more than 2,000 women.

The walk will be all the more poignant for Margaret as it falls the day after what would have been Mandy’s 38th birthday.


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Although Mandy, who leaves behind two-year-old son Jacob and husband Neil, battled primary cancer five times from the age of nine, her family say she always tried to live life to the full.

A keen chorister, she attended Cliff Lane Primary School and Ipswich High School.

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Margaret, from Bramford, said: “She had bone cancer in her femur when she was nine and had her leg amputated.

“She had to face intensive chemotherapy but when it was over she was determined just to get on with her life. She didn’t want to be treated differently.”

When she was aged 17, another primary bone cancer was found in her knee and she had a major knee replacement. At 24, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and a mastectomy and at the age of 31 her other breast was removed.

But in spite of all her medical problems, Margaret said Mandy was a happy and positive person, loved and admired by all who knew her.

Mandy married Neil, who works for BT at Martlesham, in 2000. They thought they could not have children but to their surprise she fell pregnant in 2006.

However, in 2008 when Jacob was a year old, Mandy was diagnosed with a tumour in her kidney which spread into a major blood vessel. She stayed at St Elizabeth Hospice several times for symptom control and pain relief and her family visited all the time. It was there that she died.

Margaret said: “We used to take Jacob in to visit and he would sit on her lap and she would read him a story.

“The staff and volunteers were fantastic. Mandy was a lovely mother – now when Jacob says something funny or does something for the first time it is always tinged with sadness as Mandy can’t be there to share it.”

Margaret will be walking with Mandy’s sister, Rachel Hemingway, sister-in-law Lara Emms and family friends, Justine Hard and Mary Crown.

The Midnight Walk 2010 is a ladies-only sponsored circular walk starting from Ipswich Town Football Club in Portman Road.

St Elizabeth Hospice, a registered charity, costs �5.9million a year to run. All proceeds from the walk will help provide specialist services for the hospice’s patients, families and carers.

To register or find out more visit www.midnightwalkipswich.co.uk or call 01473 707043.

n Are you taking part in a charity event for a special reason? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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