VIDEO: Young mum 'would have loved being centre of attention', say family in Sheffield, as tributes flood in following tragic death
A mum-of-two whose death aged 35 has led to a torrent of tributes would have relished being the 'centre of attention', her family in Sheffield has said.
Kate Dunn, who lived in Hillsborough with husband Gavin and their children Seb, aged three, and Kieran, aged 19 months, died in her mother's arms in the early hours of Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.
Her Facebook page received 83,000 visits in just two days as people flocked to express their grief but also to share a slew of stories about the 'fun-loving' spirit who would 'light up any room'.
Kate's mum Angela told how her daughter adored the spotlight so much she would have been delighted by all the attention were she looking down.
"She was loud, fun and always having a laugh, and she loved being the centre of attention, so she would be thrilled by all this were she here," said Angela.
Her family also described how Kate's wicked sense of humour shone through even as she battled the disease which claimed her life.
Her sister Nicola said she stuck two fingers up to cancer and even in her last days refused to let it stop her partying or indulging her cheeky, often mischievous sense of humour.
Her family have no shortage of stories which illuminate her fun-loving spirit, several of which are unprintable, but there is perhaps one which best sums up her magnetic personality that her family say made people 'gravitate towards her'.
Kate's mum Angela told how on a trip to London during her cancer treatment Kate visited the Icebar, where drinkers sup shots in sub-zero temperatures.
"As she was leaving, one of the staff went to pull down her hood and she had deliberately loosened her wig so it came off as he did so. He was mortified but she found it hilarious," she said.
"She had a really black sense of humour right to the end, which made it so much easier for us."
Kate's husband Gavin described her as an 'amazing' wife and a 'fantastic' mum to their boys.
"They loved her so much and she loved them so much. She would do anything for them," he said.
Kate was diagnosed in 2012 with breast cancer and was given the all-clear after having a double mastectomy and chemotherapy.
Medics had warned that the treatment might leave her unable to have children, so she was 'over the moon' when she gave birth to first Seb, now aged three, and then Kieran, aged 19 months, upon whom she doted.
In May last year she learned the cancer had returned, this time in her ovaries, and despite undergoing further treatment was told by doctors over Christmas that it was terminal.
The devastating news was broken to her on December 29, but that did not stop her celebrating her 35th birthday two days later with scores of friends and relatives at her family home.
Nor would it prevent the woman who loved holidays so much friends nicknamed her Judith, after the travel presenter Judith Chalmers, taking one last trip to Ireland earlier this month, where she was joined by some 40 friends and relatives.
Kate was born and bred in Hillsborough, and she attended Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and Notre Dame High School.
She studied tourism and travel at college and went on to spend most of her working life as an office manager at the training provider SECAS.
She worked as hard as she partied, also spending time behind the bar at various pubs including the Queen's Ground Hotel in Hillsborough, The Old Horns, in Bradfield, and the Pheasant Inn, in Fox Hill.
Fittingly, it was while on holiday in 2011 that she met her husband Gavin, who was on a stag do in Magaluf, and he told how it was clear they were fated to end up together.
"We were in a pub and the DJ said 'we've got a stag do here from Sheffield' so she came over and we started talking," he said.
"At that point the stag got in a fight so we left, but two hours later she walked into another bar we were in and we picked up where we had left off.
"It was only two years later that she told me how just before I kissed her for the first time that night she had been sick outside."
Kate, whose maiden name was Andrews, and who also went by the nickname 'KD', loved playing tricks on people.
Her brother Joe recalled how she once dressed as a witch months from Halloween and sat at home alone waiting for her niece Poppie to arrive just to give her a scare.
Her other brother Tom remembered how on a night at the dogs, when she was wearing a wig due to her chemotherapy, she had ripped off her hairpiece and yelled 'the hare is on the move'.
Even when her illness prevented her from travelling she saw the funny side when her friends instead took a cardboard cut-out of her with them to Manchester and posed for numerous photos, which they posted on Facebook.
"We had her face on a stick and we positioned it in all the photos so it looked like she was there. We even had her singing with a busker, and she loved it," said Nicola.
"She was crazy, and whenever she was around she would make it fun for everyone."
Kate also had her share of quirks, which her family said made her even more loveable, however infuriating they could be.
One was her habit of losing things, especially her passport and boarding pass just as she was about to board a plane. Her father John told how she once somehow even managed to misplace a pink ghetto blaster at the airport.
Another eccentricity was her fondness for examining toilets, with Nicola saying she would go out of her way to visit new places not for the food or drinks but to check out their facilities.
Kate's father said the family had been touched by the hundreds of messages on Facebook, in which he said the word 'inspirational', which summed her up, frequently featured.
He also saved a special mention for Kate's dear friend Katie Simmerson, who flew over from Australia at a day's notice after learning how ill her pal was, and surprised her in hospital. You can see Kate's 'priceless' reaction upon seeing Katie's face that day in the video.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend Kate's funeral, which will take place at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Forbes Road, Hillsborough, on Tuesday, February 7.
Her family say everybody is welcome at the service, which will start at 11.30am and will be followed by Kate's burial at Wisewood Cemetery in Loxley Road, Loxley, at 1pm.
A party (Kate's family say she wanted a party, not a wake) will then take place at the Hillsborough Club in Bradfield Road.
Kate's family praised the care she received from staff at St Luke's Hospice and Weston Park Hospital, and told how they are planning a memorial party at Malin Bridge Inn this summer in aid of St Luke's, the date of which has yet to be decided.