Warwick mother who inspired our readers has died

By Kevin Unitt 20/04 Updated: 24/04 14:51

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Nicola Vaux, who has died at the age of 37 after a long cancer battle, inspired scores of Observer readers. (s)

A WARWICK woman whose cancer battle inspired kind-hearted Observer readers to donate hundreds of pounds toward her treatment has sadly lost her fight against the disease.

A year ago this paper invited readers to donate a pound coin each to help fund the necessary private treatment for Nicola Vaux, a married mother-of-two young children who had been diagnosed with cancer of the colon.

The campaign, launched by her close friend Aby Hawker, was entitled '20,000 to 1' and through a variety of sources and events it remarkably managed to raise all £20,000 in just two months. Some readers even donated much more, sending £10 and £20 notes.

But in October Mrs Vaux's chemotherapy treatment failed and the cancer spread.

Mrs Vaux, a highly-regarded physiotherapist at Warwick Hospital, was admitted to the Lakin Road hospital in late March and died a fortnight later on April 7, aged just 37.

Mrs Hawker, a mother of two herself, knew Nicola for almost a decade, their husbands both working as pilots for Monarch Airlines based at Birmingham Airport.

She said of her friend: “Nic's response to the news that the cancer had spread was, and I quote, 'onwards and upwards'.

“Nic's eternal optimism aside, as the cancer took hold she became weaker and weaker. Amazingly, she still managed to put on a brave face for her friends and many family members.”

Speaking of the fund-raising, Mrs Hawker added: “I know Nic was overwhelmed by the response of so many kind people.

“We thank everyone for their mammoth efforts in raising such a huge amount of cash towards her treatment. She was a true inspiration.”

Glen Burley, chief executive of South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, which employed Nicola, said: “On behalf of the trust I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the friends and family of Nicola Vaux. We were extremely lucky to have Nicola as a member of the physiotherapy team, she was a well respected and hard working member of the team.”

Her funeral takes place locally on Monday afternoon (April 23).

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Observer readers donated hundreds of pound coins last year to help Nicola get the treatment she needed.

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