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Leeds family overwhelmed as grandma turns 60 after being given just a year to live

By Mellissa Dzinzi

A woman from Leeds has spoken out after her mum, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told she had less than a year to live, celebrated her 60th birthday.

Jacqui Armor's daughter Lisa Davison shared the news on Facebook after her mum hit the major milestone on Wednesday (yesterday).

Jacqui, originally from Norfolk, was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer in August 2020 after a fall. She was moved into a care home straight away and was told she had less than a year to live.

Read more: Leeds butcher Malcolm Michaels leaves Kirkgate Market for new shop

The family was devastated by the diagnosis. However, 21-months later, Jacqui is now in a wheelchair, she’s still talking and enjoying life but her health is deteriorating.

She recently became a great-grandma and she also got to see her daughter get married.

Lisa, a mum of six who lives in Cookridge, said: “We’ve been very lucky to get an extra birthday with her especially when we were given less than a year (for her to live).

“We know it's her last birthday, we’re aware there won’t be another one. It was a special birthday.

“We had a little party on Sunday for her and she said it was the best birthday she had ever had.

“The girls had a massive surprise party for her, they were clapping and singing, they got her presents and karaoke. The care home went above and beyond.”

Talking about becoming a great grandma, Lisa continued: “It’s been a journey, there’s been ups and downs but now more up

“When it happens, we’ll take comfort that she's made it so long and she’s happy, she’s a very happy lady.

“She wanted to see her great grandchild, my eldest got pregnant. We filmed my daughter telling her she was pregnant and it was so emotional, she cried and screamed, she was so happy. She said I want to live to see him.

“She’s seen him every week since he was born earlier this year. She got everything she wished for.”

Jacqui had experienced occasional mild headaches before the coronavirus pandemic but she also had suffered three falls in six months.

Her symptoms continued and her health deteriorated as the months went on, before being taken to hospital by ambulance in July 2020 when become confused and distressed.

She had scans which revealed three brain tumours, before the family were told on August 16 that her condition was terminal.

“She surprised everyone she’s still talking,” Lisa added: “She's completely different to what we thought she was going to like. She can’t really walk now she’s in a wheelchair but she’s still got a smile on her face.

“It was a massive shock for a long time, she was given less than 12 months, when we reached that we thought maybe we should think about the good things.

“I’ve had a lot longer with her than what other people have had with their loved ones (also diagnosed with brain cancer). I feel quite lucky.

“Her words were, ‘if I die tomorrow, it’s alright I’ve done everything and I’ve done it all.’ I think that's how we think now.”

Lisa will be taking part in Race for Life for her mum and is now raising money towards Cancer Research UK. If you would like to donate, click here.

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Dive Deeper:
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One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
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