A fundraiser has been launched to pay for the funeral of a young, Ramsgate mum who lost her 12-year battle against brain tumours last week.
Gabby Carlisle passed away aged just 23. She had been living with the cancer since the age of 11, undergoing numerous brain surgeries which resulted in part paralysis of her left side, countless chemotherapy sessions and other drug interventions.
Gabby defied the odds for more than a decade and for the last six-plus years was supported by partner Matthew. The pair, who have two young boys, got married last month in a ceremony at their home after Gabby once again fought back against the cancer.
Sadly, surgeons said there was no more they could do for Gabby after the discovery of more brain tumours.
Matthew’s mum Jenny Saunders has set up a gofundme to help fulfil Gabby’s last wish to be buried close to her mum Sarah in Ramsgate cemetery. The cost of burial is around £5,000 and far out of the reach of Matthew, 24, who is now sole parent for boys Kai, 3, and two-year-old Oscar.
Jenny said: “Matthew and Gabby met at college. Gabby had been diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was just 11. She was a beautiful girl.
“The first time I met her my son had been taken to hospital and diagnosed with Crohns, he was just wasting away. He was in hospital and this girl was by his bed and she had not left his side. She had already been through so much so understood what it was like.
“She had lost her mum a year before meeting Matthew and Matthew’s dad had also suffered a large stroke so they had many things that brought them together. For such young people they went through so much.
“When you met Gabby you wouldn’t know what she was going through, she just got on with things, she was determined to live a normal life, sometimes ignoring what the future might bring.”
Jenny says that although advised not to Gabby wanted to be a mum, resulting in the couple’s beautiful boys.
Jenny said: “Originally she was told it was a condition some people grow out of after thir teens but sadly she was not one of those people. She had some nine brain surgeries and they found three tumours when she was pregnant but she was determined to have the baby and thankfully they both survived the operation.
“After that she was told her tumours were inoperable but the surgeon who had been treating her since she was 11 would not give up. He removed that tumour and gave Gabby an extra year of life.
“It did affect her but even when she went downhill we never believed it would be the end because Gabby always survived everything.”
Sadly in June Matthew had to call out the ambulance when Gabby was seriously unwell. The hospital at first said there had been a bleed on the brain but they then called Matthew to say there was no more they could do.
Jenny said: “Gabby wanted to die at home and Matthew wanted to do whatever she wished. They said she had 48 hours but Gabby, as she always did, seemed to get better and they took her off everything (medical interventions). After a week she was walking around.
“And then they had the wedding, it was very sudden and had to be organised very quickly but it was a lovely day with the service in the courtyard at their home.”
Gabby’s health deteriorated in the days following the wedding and Matthew remained at her bedside until she slipped away.
Jenny said: “We are so grateful Matthew has the boys but of course it is hard.
“Gabby did receive a higher rate of benefit due to being disabled and Matthew claimed carers allowance- however now Gabby has gone both these benefits will stop and so Matthew is faced with keeping the household running on less money, which is a daunting prospect right now.
“We set up the fundraising page because the cost of a funeral is way beyond the family’s income. Gabrielle always said she wanted to be buried near to her mum and, after fulfilling all of her other dying wishes, Matthew does not want to feel he’s failed her in this last one.”