A North Derbyshire mum with terminal cancer is urging people to pay tribute to someone special by backing a hospice appeal.
Karen Hillsden, aged 50, is encouraging donations to the Rainbow Ribbons campaign in aid of Ashgate Hospice in Old Brampton, Chesterfield.
The mum-of-three was first diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago.
She has since undergone 17 operations, including a double mastectomy, several bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions.
However, despite doctors’ efforts, the cancer has continued to spread and inoperable tumours have now been found on Karen’s chest wall.
Karen, from Wingerworth, Chesterfield, began having counselling at the Ashgate Road hospice after initially struggling to cope with the diagnosis.
Cancer killed her cousin and has affected close family members, including her mum.
In return for donations to Rainbow Ribbons, fundraisers receive a length of brightly-coloured ribbon on which they can write a personal message.
The ribbons can be displayed at home, or in Ashgate’s special ‘rainbow catcher’ area.
Karen said: “Before cancer touched my life, I thought a hospice was just a place that people with cancer came to die.
“However, it is so much more than that, and they provide so many services for people with a range of conditions.
“I have had so much support from so many people at Ashgate.”
n To support the campaign or to donate, visit www.ashgatehospice.org or call 01246 567250.