Mum-of-six Kate King from Lavenham appeals for your help to support her family this Christmas after terminal cancer diagnosis

Kate King from Lavenham is raising money to support her family after she dies from cancer. Left to r

Kate King from Lavenham is raising money to support her family after she dies from cancer. Left to right, India Guilfoyle-Peart, Richard King, Kate King, Davina King. - Credit: Gregg Brown

On New Year’s Eve 2014 mum-of-six Kate King was given just six weeks to live. She was 20 week’s pregnant with her seventh child, David Caleb King, and was told both she and the baby would die as an aggressive cancer attacked her body.

The pregnancy hormones were helping to spread the disease. “It is incredibly hard,” she said.

“We held a funeral and buried David in a plot that I will be able to share with him. It is at the church where my children grew up.”

Days after David’s death, Kate, who lives in Lavenham, was receiving chemotherapy. Doctors gave her six months to live and she had a wedding to plan, to now husband Richard.

“When we got that first diagnosis, the doctor left me and Richard alone to absorb the news,” she said. “We were already planning to get married, but I asked him if we could do it sooner. We needed to get married quickly.

“We got married at The Granary in Sudbury on Valentine’s Day. I rang up and asked what dates they had and there was only one I was going for. To get Valentine’s day at that short notice was amazing. It was perfect, a really brilliant day. The happiest day of my life, and another positive thing to have come from the illness.”

Kate, a self-employed events planning, prop hire and textile design business owner for 16 years, who recently moved to Lavenham from Pebmarsh, near Halstead, already had experience with weddings for her customers.

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She said: “We had a lot of stuff in stock that I could use and the venue worked really well with my vintage style items.”

Kate, by her own admission, is living on “borrowed time” and is now approaching a year since the day she was diagnosed. Last month, despite getting the good news that various tumours had shrunk across her body after six rounds of “debilitating” chemotherapy and antibody treatment, she was dealt a further blow.

“On November 11, I was told the cancer had spread to my brain,” Kate said.

“I have multiple tumours in my brain requiring drastic whole-brain radiotherapy. Usually radiotherapy is targeted, but the tumours had spread too much,” she said.

Kate has primary ovarian cancer, primary breast cancer, secondary bone cancer, secondary liver cancer and secondary brain cancer. “I am running out of organs for it spread to,” she added with a laugh.

Her galling diagnosis could quite easily leave some wallowing in self-pity, but for Kate it is her family that comes first.

The way she sees it there is no choice.

“I have six beautiful children and a wonderful husband,” she said.

“They need their mummy – I have done everything I can, taken every treatment, some people decline treatment and they live 12 weeks or so, I can’t do that.”

That dedication is shown in her bid to raise £5,000 to support her children and give them the best Christmas she can, one she admits could be her last. Her cancer and the six months of paralysing back pain and diarrhoea she suffered before eventually getting her diagnosis has left Kate unable to work for over a year.

Kate has struggled to get the benefits available to her, with days of endless form filling adding to her worries, and her husband, an auto-electrician, has had to give up work to support her.

She said: “The money is not for luxuries, it is the bare minimum. It is for the bills, food, clothes for my children and transport to get them to school. I am on emergency medication which makes sleep incredibly hard, I only sleep for two to four hours some days. So I have been using that time to start writing the cards for my children and letters for them to open when I am gone.

“I am doing cards for all the big days, when they get married, their birthdays, letters to open when they are older – my children are everything to me and that is why I am still here.”

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