A mum-of-four from Spalding who fought a ten-month battle with cancer has left a “huge hole” in the lives of her family and friends.
Rebekah Dolby (33), of Queens Road, passed away peacefully at home on Easter Monday with her mother Teresa Dolby, sister Tasha Arnold and children Harry (14), Paige (ten), Ellie-Mai (eight) and George (three) close by her side.
Rebekah was special, one of a kind, in a league of her own and she was my soulmateTeresa Dolby
A thanksgiving service for Rebekah takes place at St Paul’s Church, Fulney, Spalding, at 1pm tomorrow.
Teresa said: “Rebekah had a very enjoyable Christmas and New Year with the chidren and put on some weight as well. But we think she realised what was happening and so gave herself some extra time to make it through to Easter.
“We had a big scare on Easter Saturday when she fainted and we all thought that was it.
“But she wanted to see her niece, so she hung on until the evening of Easter Monday which was when she died.
“Rebekah was special, one of a kind and in a league of her own. She was my soulmate and because of the bond between us, Tasha used to tell her ‘you need to cut the apron strings’.”
Tasha added: “I spent the last eight days of Rebekah’s life looking after her through the night while mum was looking after the kids. Some of us have taken it in that Rebekah’s gone, but some of us haven’t, like me.
“I haven’t accepted it yet but it’s not the same when you walk into the house because it feels empty without Rebekah.
“There’s a part of it missing, just like there’s a part of all of us missing.”
Rebekah’s fight against oesophageal cancer, which affects the gullet or food pipe and which one in every 115 women is diagnosed with in the UK, was first reported by our sister newspaper, the Spalding Guardian, last June.
It led to the launch of a fundraising campaign, Rebekah’s Wish, to raise about £57,000 to pay off the mortgage on Teresa’s home for her and Rebekah’s four children to live in long into the future.
Stewart Bradley, one of the main fundraisers, said: “The family and all of us are heartbroken but at least Rebekah is no longer suffering and those who control things upstairs have decided that she needs to rest.
“We knew a few weeks ago that the end was very near but we still had a psychic supper for Rebekah’s Wish which raised more than £680.
“The events we’ve got planned for later this year have been put on hold out of respect for Rebekah’s family until they’ve had time to grieve.
“But the family want Rebekah’s Wish to continue for her children and my heart goes out to them.”
Reverend Mike Chesher, who will be leading the service on Wednesday, said: “Teresa and the family have all been amazingly strong and I’m full of awe for the way they have supported Rebekah and got her through her final days.
“I know they have a firm belief that Rebekah lives on.”
Rebekah’s Wish disco raises £165