Family’s agony as ‘strong and independent’ mum-of-11 dies aged just 39

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Sharon Lawless died on Friday, August 5, with her family by her side. Described as “strong and independent”, the 39-year-old leaves behind five daughters and six sons aged between four and 22.

Sharon, from Merseyside, began feeling tired and started suffering with stomach pain in October last year.

Her sister, Megan Povey, 26, told the Liverpool Echo: “She was just tired a lot and she was getting stomach pains. At first, she didn’t think anything of it. We just thought she was unwell and then obviously it was prolonged and prolonged.

“She was going to the doctors to find out what it could be. She always suffered from anaemia, so they put her on iron tablets to see if that’s what it was about.”

Sharon was later referred for further tests including a scan at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, which confirmed she had cervical cancer.

Megan said: “She was diagnosed in January with cervical cancer and it was actually at stage four.

“It came as a massive shock but from day one Sharon had always said she was going to fight it no matter what.”

Sharon was due to start radiotherapy and chemotherapy in April when she broke her leg on the way to her first hospital appointment and had to go to A&E.

It was at this point that she was told the devastating news the cancer had also spread to her bones.

Following seven weeks in Aintree Hospital, Sharon was referred to the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre where she was told the cancer was too aggressive for her to start treatment.

Megan said: “They basically said ‘it’s terminal cancer and the cancer is very aggressive in Sharon’s body, especially for her being so young and she’s only got a short time left.'”

Sharon came home in June to spend time with her family, at which time her sister Megan set up a Gofundme page for Sharon to make memories with her children.

Following her death, the family have decided to keep the fundraising page open and all money raised will go towards funeral costs and supporting her children going forward.

Paying tribute, Megan said: “Everyone always remembers her as having the kids around her all the time and being strong, independent and a brilliant mum.”

In a message on the fundraising page, Megan said telling 11 children, who will now live with their nan, that their mum has died “is the hardest thing in the world.”

To visit or donate to the Gofundme page click here.

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