Husband pays tribute to 'soulmate' and mum-of-four after cancer death

Mum of four, Clare Skinner, is urging women to have a smear test after being diagnosed with termina

Mum-of-four, Clare Skinner, has sadly died from cervical cancer. L-R Willow, Doug, Clare, Amelia, Aiesha and Logan. - Credit: Archant

A mum-of-four has been described by her husband as a "fighter" after her tragic death from cervical cancer aged 32 — as he encouraged young women not to put off their smear tests.  

Tributes have been pouring in for Clare Skinner, who lived in Lawshall, after she sadly died at West Suffolk Hospital on Sunday, March 28.  

Clare, who was born in Bury St Edmunds and grew up in Long Melford, received the devastating news at the end of 2019 that her cancer had returned and she had about 12 to 18 months left.  

Clare Skinner from Lawshall near Bury St Edmunds has terminal cervical cancer

People rallied behind an appeal for festive lights for Clare Skinner and her family on what was her last Christmas. - Credit: Archant

In December, a tumour came back in her right leg and shortly after Christmas doctors found a blood clot in her left leg, leaving her completely immobile.  

Just after Mother's Day, markers showed her organs were failing, but she held on for another two weeks before her family were able to say their goodbyes. 

"She was my best friend and I will miss everything about her," said husband Doug, who met Clare in his hometown in Brighton more than 10 years ago, while she was studying interior architecture at university.  

"She did everything for us, and was always putting others first.  

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“Our door was always open for anyone and everyone, and Clare was constantly checking in on her friends and did anything she could to help them.  

“She really was a fighter and she never gave in." 

Clare Skinner and her husband Doug in Lawshall

Clare and her husband Doug were inseparable. - Credit: Archant

Clare also leaves behind her four children, Willow, Amelia, Aiesha and Logan, who she told she will be "waiting on the moon for", in a nod to Netflix's 'Over the Moon'. 

Doug said his children have been "awesome" since Clare's death, as she always made them aware of what was happening to her. 

"She was probably one of the best mum's I could ever imagine," said Doug, who is a motorbike mechanic by trade.  

"Clare would always put the kids first. She was a fair but firm mum and she made the house a hive of activity for the children. 

"She put everyone first and she was always very active." 

Doug said he and his wife were inseparable and never got bored of being in each other's company.  

They enjoyed colouring and were always decorating the house, which Doug said Clare "loved to do".  

Clare Skinner with Logan, Willow and Amelia Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Clare Skinner with Logan, Willow and Amelia. - Credit: Archant

She also loved being in the garden with the children and spending time with friends and family. And Doug said she loved to sunbathe. 

They also used to skate together when they were feeling fit, and took the children to Disneyland on more than four occasions — a tradition they were sadly not able to do for one final time due to Covid. 

Even when she was struggling with her health, Clare was always active in the community and thinking of others, with Doug describing her as "outgoing and fun to be around". 

He said many people didn't even realise she had terminal cancer as she was always so positive.  

When she was diagnosed with the disease, the first thing she did was try to make other women aware of it, encouraging people all over the world to get their smear tests through Facebook.  

Doug said she wanted to make women aware that it is not the end of the world getting it done, and it can save your life.  

Clare Skinner with husband Doug during her first chemo session this year Picture: DOUG SKINNER

Clare Skinner with husband Doug during her first chemo session in 2020. - Credit: DOUG SKINNER

Her Facebook page 'My Journey of Cervical cancer from every angle' has nearly 3,000 followers, and more than 26,000 people have seen the post regarding her death.  

Doug said people from all over the world have messaged the page to say she was the reason they had their smear tests.  

He said: "Without a doubt the age should be lowered for women getting a smear test.  

"Obviously it can be triggered by sexual activity, so in my opinion smear tests should be done the moment you are sexually active." 

Clare's Facebook page will be used to make people aware of her death, and to publish details of how people can say goodbye to her.  

Doug wants to start up a charity in Clare's name, to encourage women to go for their smear tests, but also to provide financial support to families.  

He will be organising a memorial bench to be put in the front garden for the kids, and he is also going to be laying out some white stones where people can come and write their memories of Clare on. 

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