Family and friends of a Spalding mum with months to live are trying to raise around £45,000 so her four children can keep their home after she dies.
The family launched a £20,000 appeal on fundraising website JustGiving as they set out to fulfil Rebekah Dolby’s greatest wish – that her children, aged between two and 13, and mum, Teresa Dolby (56), can stay in their Spalding Queens Road house.
It’s an opportunity – a sad opportunity – for the people of Spalding and the area to show what they are made of. When the going gets tough, the people of Spalding stand up and do the right thing.Family friend Stewart Bradley
So far nearly £11,000 has been raised through donations and special events, but Rebekah’s sister, Tasha Arnold, revealed this week the mortgage on the home stands at around £56,000, which means another £45,000 is needed before it is paid for.
Family friend Stewart Bradley, one of the driving forces supporting the Rebekah’s Wish appeal, said: “It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s £45,000 or £450,000 – whatever it is, we will keep going until we raise it. We are there, shoulder to shoulder with the family.
“It’s an opportunity – a sad opportunity – for the people of Spalding and the area to show what they are made of. When the going gets tough, the people of Spalding stand up and do the right thing.”
We revealed Rebekah’s moving story in June, shortly after doctors gave the 33-year-old a year to live because she has a cancerous tumour in her gullet.
Tasha said the family set the JustGiving target at £20,000 because they understood they would have only 30 days to raise the money and knew they couldn’t get £56,000 in that time.
As well as worrying about her sister, Tasha is concerned for her mum who is now working 12 hour shifts either three or four days a week and “then coming home and looking after four kids and everything else”.
Tasha said Rebekah’s spirits are still high but she is “very tired and very thin” because of her illness.
She describes the family’s situation as “devastating”.
“I can’t go into it, otherwise I would break down,” said Tasha.
• Stewart Bradley’s next big event for the Rebekah’s Wish appeal is a 60s and 70s disco night at St Paul’s Primary School, Spalding, on Saturday, October 31, and he hopes to give it a nice twist by opening an old fashioned tuck shop with sweets from yesteryear. Doors open at 6.45pm for a 7.30pm start.
The family is accepting direct donations and cheques can be made out to Teresa Dolby and sent to 111 Queens Road, Spalding PE11 2JH. The Spalding Guardian will accept anonymous donations on the family’s behalf.