Touching tributes have been paid to a much-loved grandmother following her battle with cancer.
Karen Innes, who has been described as a “wonderful” mum-of-five sadly passed away on January 6, aged 57.
Her family have now thanked all of those who supported their cause after a fundraiser was set up in August 2020 to ensure Karen and her husband David kept their home during the pandemic after they were both left unable to work.
Karen first successfully battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma over a decade ago, but the overwhelming nature of the situation meant the couple lost their family home and had to move into rented housing due to a loophole in their health insurance policy.
Loving husband David recalled how during this difficult period in 2005 the couple had to leave with just the clothes they had on and move into a hotel room with their three children until they could find a place to rent.
After spending a decade rebuilding their lives, Karen’s cancer returned in 2019.
“We bought what we hoped was our forever home,” said David, aged 54. “Karen fell in love at first sight but two months after moving in the cancer came back and much more aggressively.”
Determined not to let the same thing happen again, their children reached out to the wider community in August of last year and almost £7000 was raised in support of Karen and David, self professed ‘proud Janners’.
Daughter Carly Laughton, co-owner of Jacka Bakery on the Barbican, has now reached out to thank those who supported her mother during the final months of her life:
“It was a massive relief for mum and dad,” she said. “They didn’t have to worry about bills, all they had to worry about was each other.
“That’s what our intention was, but people went above and beyond what we expected.
“We were hoping for at least one month to pay all of their bills, but they were sorted out for a good couple of months and we were really chuffed.
“Mum and dad are very proud people but they were really emotional and very grateful obviously.
“We had achieved our goal of relieving that pressure for them, so thank you.”
The family also want to give thanks to the team at St Luke’s Hospice who helped care for Karen when her condition worsened in recent days, allowing her to pass peacefully with her family by her side.
“St Luke’s were incredible, they were around the same day. The nurses made mum feel so comfortable, honestly they were amazing. Just lovely.”
Writing on Facebook following her mum’s passing, Carly said: “Some of you may already know, but yesterday our mum lost her incredibly long and hard battle with cancer.
“She fought with great dignity till the very end.
“She passed peacefully with a smile on her face as dad talked of memories of their favourite holiday in Italy, surrounded by her family.”
The doting grandmother, who worked for established Plymouth company Becton Dickinson has been described as an incredible woman who was “all about her family.”
Carly continued: “She was so proud of all of her five children and absolutely adored all nine of her grandchildren.
“She has left a huge mum shaped hole in all of our lives and we will miss her more than words could ever describe.
“Thank you for the kind words of support we’ve already received from so many.”
Carly signed up for a month long charity running challenge to lift spirits before losing her mum and has decided to continue with the fundraiser in Karen’s memory.
The bakery owner will be running two miles a day throughout February to raise money for Cancer Research, a charity that is clearly very close to the family’s hearts.
If you would like to donate you can do so here.