A MOTHER whose son died from a rare skin condition has been dealt a further blow after learning that her partner has lung cancer.
The death of Edna Kennedy’s son Jonny was seen by millions of TV viewers of a documentary called The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off.
Jonny, from Alnwick, was born with epidermolysis bullosa – or EB – which causes the victim to blister and peel from even the gentlest of touching.
He suffered so much pain that he considered suicide, before he died from cancer at the age of 36 in 2004.
But the charity she set up in his memory – Jonny Kennedy North East – which raises money for fellow sufferers, has been devastated by the recession and the harsh winter weather.
One shop in Newcastle has already closed and two in Whitley Bay are under threat if sales do not improve.
And 70-year-old Edna is now coping with the news that her 67-year-old partner Colin Jacobs has lung cancer.
Edna and Colin, who live in Rochester, near Otterburn, have been together for 11 years and Colin helped her through the trauma of Jonny’s death.
Edna said: “I want to try to do as much as possible for the charity but I also have Colin’s illness to consider. It’s a very difficult time. I sometimes wonder what I have done in this world to warrant the possible loss of somebody else.
“I was reading that we are one of the worst countries for cancer survival and there is only a 29 per cent chance that someone with lung cancer will survive for a year. You can imagine how I feel.”
Colin, a former RAF communications expert, has to undergo weekly treatments at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
Edna drives the 80-mile round-trip to hospital.
She said: “I want to support Colin the way he supported me after Jonny died.”
Businesses are being asked to provide sponsorship for Jonny Kennedy North East and anyone who can help should contact charity trustee Eric Duffield on 07738 076081 or email email@example.com