Mother-of-one, 51, dies more than 20 years after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and told she had just six months to live
- Michelle ‘Shelly’ Edwards, 51, died at care home after battle with bone cancer
- Mother-of-one was first diagnosed with the terminal illness at the age of 30
- She worked for Humberside Police and as volunteer steward at Grimsby Town FC
- Her daughter said: ‘She was happy, bubbly and lots of fun. She adored horses’
A mother-of-one has died more than 20 years after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and told she had just six months to live.
Michelle ‘Shelly’ Edwards, 51, passed away at Clarendon Hall care home in Humberston, North East Lincolnshire, after her battle with bone cancer.
She was just 30 years old when first diagnosed with the terminal illness and lived on for an incredible 21 years.
Her daughter, Jessica, said: ‘Even in her last days she was not giving in.’
Michelle ‘Shelly’ Edwards (pictured above), 51, passed away at Clarendon Hall after her battle with bone cancer. She served as a special constable for Humberside Police
She added: ‘Because it affected her spine it affected her walking and her mobility went because she had no feeling in her legs. It wasn’t long until she was paralysed.
‘But at Pinderfields hospital they taught her to walk again. Even in her last couple of years when she went for treatment she was in the ward inspiring the other patients in the oncology ward, showing them how to keep going.
‘She would have a laugh in the hospital. The doctors thought she was incredible and were led by her and were impressed how strong she was.
‘Her mum (Ann) was the one who gave her all the care because she was a specialist nurse. Gran was the one who kept her going.’
Shelly, as she was most popularly known, served as a special constable for Humberside Police from the age of 19 until her diagnosis.
She was also a volunteer steward at Grimsby Town FC.
Shelly pictured on her 50th birthday. She was just 30 years old when first diagnosed with terminal cancer and lived on for an incredible 21 years
Jessica said: ‘One of her passions was seeing the police horses at the stadium. So we have arranged for a horse-drawn hearse to carry her to the crematorium on Thursday.’
Shelly was one of three children to the late Ann Edwards, a former special children’s nurse, and Terry Edwards. Shelly lived most of her life in Cleethorpes and was renowned for wearing her favourite colour red.
She had red hair and always wore a red coat, shoes and red lipstick, told her daughter. Her coffin will be covered in red roses to reflect her love of the colour.
Jessica said: ‘She loved going out on Cleethorpes seafront and going to the North Sea Lane chippy.
‘She was a great swimmer in her youth and swam with the Santa Marina club.’
Shelly was one of three children to the late Ann Edwards, a former special children’s nurse, and Terry Edwards. She lived most of her life in Cleethorpes
She added: ‘She was happy, bubbly and lots of fun. She adored horses.’
She paid tribute to the care her mother received at the nursing home in Humberston in the final months of her life.
Despite her illness, Shelly trained to be a social worker but was unable to complete her qualifications.
Jessica said her mother enjoyed visits to Cleethorpes nightspots Flares and Reflex where she enjoyed listening to music from the Eighties.
Her family have chosen Bryan Adams’ ‘Summer of ’69’, Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’ and Nena’s ’99 Red Balloons’ for the invite-only service at the funeral from 1.30pm on Thursday.
She is survived by her father and brothers, Martin and Malcolm and her daughter.
What is bone cancer?
Primary bone cancer begins in the bones. It is a rare form of cancer and approximately 550 new cases are diagnosed in the UK every year.
It is set apart from secondary bone cancer, which spreads to the bones after emerging in another part of the body.
The main types of bone cancer include osteosarcoma – the most common type – Ewing sarcoma and chondrosarcoma.
Symptoms (of primary bone cancer) include:
- Persistent bone pain that worsens over time
- Swelling and redness (inflammation) over a bone
- A noticeable lump over the bone
- Weakness in the bone (ie. breaks/fractures more easily than normal)
To treat bone cancer, depending on the type and severity, most people have a combination of:
- Surgery to remove the cancerous bone
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