Courageous Claire pledges to make a mum’s final wish come true

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THEY are two hard-working mums who do not know each other, but are bonded by the same heartbreaking tragedy.

Both Claire Baillie and Lucy Jenkins have terminal cancer and know every day is precious with their children.

(left to right) Clare Baillie (36) from Portsmouth with Lucy Jenkins (25) of Waterlooville ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (14233-6888)

(left to right) Clare Baillie (36) from Portsmouth with Lucy Jenkins (25) of Waterlooville ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (14233-6888)

For 25-year-old Lucy, a mum-of-two, time is running out as she has just months to live.

Her final wish is for her two children to have a magical holiday at Disneyland when she dies.

Claire, a mum-of-four from Portsmouth, heard of Lucy’s story while on a chance visit to the One Stop store in Cowplain, where Lucy used to work.

Now big-hearted Claire has made it her mission to make Lucy’s final wish come true and is spearheading a bid to raise £10,000 to pay for the holiday to America.

The two mums met for the first time at Lucy’s house in Linnet Close, Wecock.

Fighting back tears, Claire, of Kirpal Road, Baffins, said: ‘This is what she wants. I think everybody should get their dream.

‘I just relate to her so much. With everything she’s gone through, she’s still thinking of other people. She has inspired me. I just hope I have got as much fight as she has.’

Claire, who has colon cancer, was alerted to Lucy’s story after noticing a poster in the Cowplain store which outlined how staff at One Stop were aiming to raise funds for her.

Claire went back the next day to find out the full story and decided to make it her mission to make sure Lucy’s dream becomes a reality.

Lucy was diagnosed with a brain tumour a month after getting married in July 2011. She bravely battled the disease, undergoing rounds of chemotherapy, until last November when doctors said there was nothing more they could do.

Lucy, mum to six-year-old Leah and step-mum to 10-year-old Cameron, now suffers from dementia.

Her husband, Dave Jenkins, 36, said: ‘When we found out she was terminal, we had put together a little list of things she wanted to do.

‘They have all been really varied, like holding a snake, being arrested.

‘A friend went through the motions of arresting her and taking her down to the police station and doing her fingerprints. It was lovely of him.’

The family had a snow machine installed in their garden as Lucy wanted a white Christmas.

Last month, Lucy and Dave also renewed their vows at a ceremony at The Langstone Hotel on Hayling Island.

Dave, who cares for Lucy, said he was bowled over by Claire’s response.

She has been chatting with the holiday operators, getting prices and co-ordinating fundraising events to help with the proposed trip to America.

Dave said: ‘I didn’t know Claire previous to this.

‘I am just so overwhelmed by it. Claire is amazing and so are the guys at One Stop with everything they are doing.’

Lucy said Claire’s generosity and positivity was ‘amazing’ and she would love if her children could go to Disneyland.

‘I would love it,’ she said.

‘I want them to go and do it. It’s something I want them to do.’

Within a matter of a week, more than 2,200 people have joined Lucy’s Last Wish page on Facebook.

More than £4,500 has already been raised.

Seventeen One-Stop stores in the area have fundraising pots at their tills and several have organised cake sales and raffles.

A sponsored swim took place at Waterlooville Leisure Centre for Lucy.

Adrian Warwood, 45, manager of the One Stop in Cowplain, said the fundraising snowballed soon after the area manager, Leroy Morrad, put up a poster in the Hart Plain Avenue shop highlighting Lucy’s plight and her final wish.

Mr Warwood said: ‘Customers have been amazing.

‘We have had customers putting in ten and twenty pound notes.’

His wife, Tanya Warwood, 38, who works at the One Stop in Botley Drive, Leigh Park, had her hair shaved off and raised £600 for Lucy.

Anyone wishing to help can visit Lucy’s Last Wish on Facebook and follow the instructions.

People donate via Paypal with the email address kanebaillie@rocketmail.com