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Thousands raised in memory of mum and daughter who both lost lives to cancer

By Stephanie Bell

Published 07/10/2016

Charlene Campbell
Charlene Campbell
Charlene Campbell with her baby daughter Myla

The family of a popular Portadown estate agent who passed away a year ago today after a short battle with cancer have said they have been astonished by the lives she continues to touch.

Charlene Campbell (33) succumbed to breast cancer on October 7, 2015, just over five years after her baby daughter Myla died from cancer aged one.

Shortly after her death, Charlene's family set up the Charlie's Angels appeal in memory of the tragic mother and daughter with the hope of raising £10,000 for Cancer Research Tots and Teens.

Not only have they smashed their target, raising more than £15,000 to date, but the family have been so overwhelmed by the response that they have decided to keep the appeal open indefinitely.

The fundraising, which has been ongoing throughout the year not just in Charlene's local community but also across Northern Ireland and as far away as South Africa, will continue tomorrow night with another event in her hometown.

Charlene, who worked for Hannath Estate Agents in Portadown, was widely known throughout Co Armagh and across the province.

She was devastated when baby daughter Myla died in her arms in February 2010. The little girl was diagnosed with brain cancer shortly after birth and Charlene nursed her through gruelling treatment.

After watching her daughter's ordeal, she developed a fear of cancer and could not bear to hear the disease mentioned.

But in a cruel twist of fate, her worst fears were realised when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of last year.

Having witnessed the terrible side-effects of the treatment her baby went through, she initially refused surgery and instead opted to keep the disease at bay with an organic diet.

Despite eventually having her breast removed when it became clear the tumour was growing rapidly, she lost her battle to the disease, passing away in hospital this day last year.

The appeal in her memory was set up by her devastated family - including her aunt Liz, cousin Mandy Ritchie, sister Louise) and mum Geraldine Lawson - who will spend today together, quietly remembering their beautiful Charlene.

"It just seems like this past year we have all lived in a cloud of disbelief and are still waiting on her coming home," said Liz.

"We have been amazed at how much Charlene's life story has touched everyone. No matter where we are, people seem drawn to us with such comforting words. People say it gets easier, but it doesn't.

"We miss her so much. We miss the sound of her voice, her beautiful blue eyes and her dazzling smile - we just miss everything about her."

Liz said her niece was full of life and so beautiful and turned heads wherever she went.

She added: "Charlene has left such a void. There is a terrible sadness that has touched so many people.

"The appeal seems to have given people a way of showing their support and we have been overwhelmed by how caring and generous they are.

"A friend of Charlene's in Australia got a baker to make boxes of buns, which she sold for the appeal and raised £1,383.

"People were buying the buns online and she gave them out to orphanages and hospices, and even to one to a woman begging with her child in the street, telling them about Charlene and Myla.

"So many people have been touched by Charlene's story.

"It just won't stop - people are still coming to us constantly offering to do events.

"This Saturday night there is a pig roast and music in Sally McNally's restaurant in Portadown for Charlene and Myla, which everyone is welcome to go along to and which we hope will help us get our total up to £16,000.

"We just want to keep raising as much as we can so that Charlene and Myla's legacy will live on."

  • You can support the appeal by Charlene's friends and family, which is in aid of research into childhood cancers, by visiting the website

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