A Hull mum battling cancer has wanted to say a very public “thank you” to her eldest daughter, who she says has been her rock since her diagnosis.
Danielle Connah, 40, from north Hull, was diagnosed with breast cancer and cancer in her left lymph nodes in July last year. Since then, she has undergone gruelling chemotherapy sessions and has even contracted borderline sepsis.
After numerous hospital stays, biopsies and a failed breast reconstruction, it seems Danni is hopefully almost at the end of her treatment. She finished chemotherapy in December and is awaiting results for her breast biopsy but has already been told there are no cancerous cells left in her lymph nodes.
Mum-of-four Danni says that throughout she has taken comfort from many things but none more so than her eldest daughter, Kim, 19.
Since Danni’s diagnosis, Kim has been on hand to help care for her mum, dad Tony, and younger siblings, Bradley, 17, Liam, 10, and Charlotte, 7.
Not only has Kim looked after the rest of her family but has been on hand to support her mum, has gone wig shopping and spent her first wage slip on crosswords, sweets, chocolates and a teddy for when her mum was in hospital – all while working full-time in a school.
Danni credits Kim and everything she has done for her, describing her as a “rock”, and wants to publicly thank Kim.
She said: “Kim was the first person we told. We told her at the end of June just before I went for my mammogram and ultrasound. At first she took it really well and was very supportive and told me nothing would happen but she’s there for me.
“Since then she’s helped us tell all of our younger children too. She doesn’t let me do anything around the house, she took over doing the meals if Tony was at work, she bathed the kids, walked them to school, ran around after me and I must admit I’m not the best patient.
“She’s been like a second mum to Liam and Charlotte and even helped Bradley wash his clothes. All of the family have been fantastic but considering she is only 19, it was really sweet.
“Just this week, Tony was at work until 10pm so she had to get two buses home. She got home at around 5pm and for the first time ever cooked a full roast dinner. She finally got sat down at 7.30pm and then at 8pm jumped up and took the kids to bake and by 9pm she was shattered.
“When I was in hospital in November she kept all of the friends and family up to date on how I am doing. She did a sponsored head shave at Asda Kingswood with me when I first got diagnosed and raised £75.
“She told me I was beautiful even when I felt awful.”
A stand out memory for Danni was when her and Kim went shopping for her first wig.
Danni said: “We went to Sutton Wigs, which was recommended to me by The Queens Centre on Tweendykes Avenue.
“I still had a short pixie style haircut. The ladies were trying to fit me with style like I already had my hair, but Kim knew me well and suggested some bob style ones. She gave me marks out of ten on the wigs until we found one that was perfect.
“It was £75, which is the amount Kim raised during the head shave.”
When Danni was admitted to hospital in November, Kim was right by her side. Danni had borderline sepsis but eventually got better and was allowed home.
She finished her chemotherapy course on December 11 and saw her surgeon for a mastectomy in January, who was going to complete a reconstruction at the same time.
However, while she was waiting a blood clot formed before she was able to have the operation. She is now waiting for another reconstruction.
She said: “They have left some extra skin in case I want to do it later on but at the minute I’m just glad to be alive so really don’t want to put myself through any surgery right now.”
During her time in hospital, Kim was by Danni’s side and spent her first paycheck on her mum.
Danni said: “She bought me chocolates, sweets, a lovely pen, a crossword book and a unicorn teddy. It’s our first wedding anniversary on April 14 so she’s looking after the kids for a full weekend while Tony has booked the hotel we stayed in for our wedding.
“We’ve always been close but she seems to know if I’m feeling low and tries daft things to try and perk me up. I don’t think we could be any closer, we’re always there for each other. Even when I do, if very rarely, put her in line, her eyes roll.
“I just want to say to Kim that over these past few months you’ve been such a fantastic support for me and your dad.
“I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like we appreciate all you do, but from the deepest part of my heart, honestly, we couldn’t have got through it without you.
“You have been my rock. You are the kindest, caring young woman I know and please don’t ever change. I love you so much.”
Follow all the latest news by Sophie Corcoran
Sophie Corcoran is a reporter for Hull Live and the Hull Daily Mail. Her interests include positive news, news about homelessness, court news and breaking news.
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