Brave mum loses battle with cancer

A brave mum who fought a courageous battle against cancer to marry her fiancee before Christmas has died.

Monday, 14th March 2016, 9:26 am
Updated Monday, 14th March 2016, 9:26 am
Karen Garner

Karen McGuinness, 51, died peacefully at Overgate Hospice on March 3, surrounded by those closest to her.

The mum-of-two from Pellon was diagnosed with cancer last February and after gruelling radiotheraphy and chemotherapy sessions was given the all clear in June.

But after beginning to feel unwell later in the year, she received the devastating blow that it returned. She had terminal stage four cancer of the lungs and brain and, in a best case scenario, had 12 months to live.

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Karen Garner and Paul McGuinness at the Tower House, Halifax.

Despite the heartbreaking news, Karen proposed to Paul, her partner of six years, and kind strangers touched by her story rallied around to make her fairytale day a reality.

And there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Karen made the emotional journey down the aisle with her two sons Harrison and Joshua in December.

Karen’s brother, Jamie Green, 42, said: “She was opinionated, she would help anyone out and she wasn’t going to give in when she was ill.

“Even at the end, she was still fighting it in her own way. She had three dates she wanted to make - the wedding, Christmas and seeing her boys turn 13 in June.

Karen Garner and Paul McGuinness at the Tower House, Halifax.

“She was a dearly-loved wife, a forever loving and proud mum, a top sister and auntie and an unforgettable friend to many, and will be sadly missed by all who knew her.”

He thanked all the “amazing” staff and “unsung heroes” at Overgate Hospice for their help.

Speaking last November, Karen said: “I just want to thank everybody for being so supportive, I didn’t realise there were so many nice people.

“It’s overwhelming, it makes you realise you have to live life to the full day-by-day and cherish every moment.”

A celebration of Karen’s life will take place at 1.30pm on Thursday, March 17, at Park Wood Crematorium, Elland.

All are welcome there, and afterwards to join Karen’s family and friends at Pellon Social Club, Moor End Road, Halifax.

Family flowers only, but donations may be made to Overgate Hospice in Elland and a box will be provided on the day.

Any enquiries should go to Halifax funeral directors B J Melia and Sons on 01422 354453.