Published by BBC NEWS - 26th February 2024
  • Published
Stu Ashby and Stacey ChetwynImage source, Family photo

A woman whose partner died from cancer while she was also being treated for the disease has thanked the local community for their help.

Stacey Chetwyn found out she had cancer in her pelvis just days after her partner Stuart Ashby learned he had cancer in his oesophagus.

Mr Ashby, from Syston in Leicestershire, died three weeks after being diagnosed.

People donated more than £26,000 to help towards the family’s living costs.

Miss Chetwyn, who has sons aged six and 10, said this had helped while she was being treated and was unable to work, and had made their family more financially secure.

“Every little bit of help I am forever thankful for, whether it’s taking the kids out or helping me in the house or taking the financial strain away, that has helped massively,” she said.

“I can’t even put into words how thankful we as a family will ever be for that, especially while we were trying desperately to sort things out.”

Stacey Chetwyn and Stu Ashby

Image source, Stu Ashby

Miss Chetwyn had previously been diagnosed with cervical cancer in September 2020, but was treated for this and told she was in remission in April 2021.

However, she was admitted to hospital on 10 September 2023 after experiencing pain and mobility problems, and was told she had cancer in her pelvis on 11 October.

Meanwhile, Mr Ashby had been admitted to hospital on 24 September because of pain he was experiencing. He was told he had cancer in his oesophagus, liver and spleen on 5 October.

Mr Ashby was then moved to LOROS hospice in Leicester, and died on 22 October.

‘Kids were the strength’

“Unfortunately he just sadly deteriorated extremely fast,” said Miss Chetwyn.

“We tried everything we could; the disease was too strong.”

She said the loss of Mr Ashby, who was “the love of my life”, had left her distraught.

“For the sake of the kids, they’re the reason I get up each day,” she said.

“Without them I don’t know where I’d be. So they were the strength through the storm.”

Stacey Chetwyn

Image source, Stacey Chetwyn

Now Miss Chetwyn’s cancer treatment has ended, she intends to raise money for LOROS by holding an event on 2 March to celebrate her partner’s life.

It has been timed to mark what would have been Mr Ashby’s 48th birthday on 29 February.

“Stu was born on a leap year and in 2024 he has an actual birthday, so this will be his 12th birthday,” said Miss Chetwyn.

“I’m hosting it as a charity event to raise as much money as I can for LOROS for the immense care that they provided for Stu in the short time he was there at the hospice.”

‘Get it checked’

The event will be held at the Avantay Banqueting Suite in Syston.

Miss Chetwyn has also been encouraging women to get screened for cervical cancer through her Facebook page, called Cerviving: My Journey with the Big C.

She wants to encourage men and women to get cancer symptoms checked early.

“For anything that you feel is not right, just go and get it checked, because it might be nothing but it might be something,” she said.

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