Life of much-loved Leeds teacher Kim whose cancer fight sparked £40k fundraiser is to be celebrated

Late Leeds teacher Kim Corbett-Ouaichai with her husband Chaiya.
Late Leeds teacher Kim Corbett-Ouaichai with her husband Chaiya.
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A much-loved Leeds teacher whose battle with cancer in Thailand prompted a £40,000 fundraising campaign has passed away aged just 34.

Kim Corbett-Ouaichai, from Roundhay, moved to the island of Koh Samui to teach English in 2011 but was diagnosed with breast cancer a year later.

Late Leeds teacher Kim Corbett-Ouaichai with her husband Chaiya.

Late Leeds teacher Kim Corbett-Ouaichai with her husband Chaiya.

After being given the all-clear she began to suffer from back pain last year, and it emerged that the cancer had returned in her bones and liver in October but her medical insurers capped their payment of her treatment at $20,000.

After a fundraising effort raised £40,000 for her treatment in Bangkok, she married her fiancé Chaiya Ouaichai in April before a scan showed her cancer was growing in May. She passed away on July 1.

Kim was laid to rest in Koh Samui earlier this month and a celebration of her life in England has been organised at Oakwood Church, in Springwood Road, for July 31 at 1pm.

Her mother Pat told the YEP: “People will remember her for her strength, fight and for her infectious laugh and sense of humour.”

After being told her tumours were growing, Kim stopped chemotherapy to give her body a rest. She later had a hysterectomy in a bid to stop the cancer spreading but collapsed shortly afterwards. She suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blockage of a main artery, and died.

Friend Emma Dyas, who is the director at the school Kim worked in, said: “All of the kids loved her and she was just one of the best people I’ve ever met – funny, sarcastic and she took no bull off anybody. She knew exactly who she was – she was properly Yorkshire.”

A foundation in Kim’s name, linked to her passion for literacy, is hoped to be launched with the money left in her hospital fund.

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