Seven-year-old Leeds boy to take on gruelling Yorkshire Dales challenge in memory of 'beautiful' mum who died of breast cancer
A seven-year-old boy is set to embark on a gruelling three-day 7,000 feet hike in memory of his late mum who died of breast cancer aged just 49.
Jacob Newson will climb Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent in the Yorkshire Dales in June to raise funds for the hospice that cared for his mum, Andrea.
Andrea, who worked as an analyst for the NHS for 20 years, was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in October 2019.
Her condition deteriorated when it spread to her liver and she was told late last year that she only had months left to live.
She was admitted to St James' Hospital on December 12, but thanks to the ‘brilliant efforts’ of hospital, ambulance and St Gemma’s Hospice staff in Leeds, she spent Christmas at home.
It was her final wish to have ‘one last Christmas’ with her two boys Jacob and husband Andrew and she tragically died two days later on December 27.
Jacob will walk around 23 miles in June while wearing his favourite RAF Flying Suit and hopes to raise funds for St Gemma’s hospice who ‘tried to save my mummy’.
The RAF-obsessed schoolboy, who hopes to become a pilot when he's older, has done multiple charity walks and has raised more than £30,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Jacob said: “It’s really sad my mummy has died.
“On 27th December 2020 my beautiful mummy passed away at home at the age of just 49 with me and my daddy by her side.
“St Gemma's helped my mummy come to terms with cancer and helped us get my mummy home for Christmas just before she died so we could have one last Christmas together as a family.
“I just want to raise some pennies for the people that helped and tried to save my mummy to say thank you.”
Andrea was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer at St James Hospital in Leeds after she felt a lump while feeling ‘completely healthy’ and showing no symptoms.
She underwent a successful treatment of chemotherapy until March 2020 and had a mastectomy to remove the tumour.
Following some tests in April that year, doctors discovered that the tumours had spread to her liver.
The determined mum-of-one continued to work in her role collating figures for NHS England as part of the Yorkshire and Humberside Covid task force during her chemo.
But tragically, in November the family were told she only had months left to live and her condition deteriorated rapidly.
Her husband Andrew, who works for Yorkshire Ambulance, said: “We were hopefully Andrea would make it but it all went wrong.
“When we were told she had months to live it was devastating, we were in complete shock and disbelief.”
The couple married in September in an intimate ceremony as one of Andrea’s final wishes.
Andrew said he thought his time in the army and working for the ambulance service would prepare him for her death.
But after the death of his ‘caring and beautiful’ wife Andrea, he said he doesn’t know if the grief will go away.
In a heart-wrenching tribute, he said Andrea was a ‘fantastic mother’ to little Jacob who didn’t deserve to lose her either.
He said: “We miss her terribly, for a significant proportion of my life I’ve seen people pass away working in the army and in the ambulance.
“I’m no stranger to grief and I thought I'd prepared myself.
“Even now it’s so tough. We miss her so much.
“She was such a fantastic mother to Jacob. She was a far better parent than I could ever be for Jacob.
“It’s just so difficult. I hope to be half the parent she was to Jacob. Even when she was really poorly she was always there for him.
“She would read him bedtime stories, help him with homework, bathe him. It’s gone, and it breaks my heart that Jacob has lost all that.
“He didn’t deserve to lose it. She was so kind and caring and a beautiful person. It’s who she was.
“She lived for her job and lived for her family.
“Everything that Jacob is today is because of Andrea.
“Jacob has been so brave through it all, I’m so proud of both of them.”