A family has been left overwhelmed after thousands of pounds have flooded in for charity, following the death of a loved one.
Mum Denise Howard passed away in September, aged 41, after losing a two-year battle against cancer, which was sparked by a rare genetic condition.
Tragically, it was also inherited by her seven-year-old son Niall, who died in 2002, having been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour.
The Howard family has collected money for charity in Niall’s name for around a decade, raising in excess of £30,000 for various good causes.
Recent fund-raising efforts had taken the latest amount in the bank to £3,500 .
But following Denise’s death, another £3,500 was raised, in the space of less than two months.
It has taken the most recent total to £7,000, which will be split between three charities.
Last month, husband Stuart, 45, as well as children, Will, seven, and Eden, four, donated £5,000 to St Oswald’s Hospice, which provides specialist care for North-East adults and children with progressive, life-limiting conditions.
The family intends to donate £1,000 to CLIC Sargent – the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families.
A further £1,000 is to be given to the Make a Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of youngsters living with life-threatening illnesses.
“It is absolutely astonishing,” said Stuart.
“We are hugely grateful to the kind donations and people’s generosity.
“The money has come from a lot of people.
“Since we set up the Niall Howard Fund nearly 11 years ago, we have probably raised in excess of £30,000.
“We had around £3,500 in the account earlier this year.
“After Denise died, we asked for donations to the Niall Howard Fund, and by the time we came to write the cheque, there was £7,000 in the account.”
Money has been raised for the fund in many ways over the years, including Niall’s younger siblings, Will and Eden, tackling the Mini Great North Run, in aid of the cause.
Tragically, Denise died this year, just a day after the pair completed the event.
Denise was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010 and an MRI scan revealed it had spread to her brain. She began an intensive programme of treatment, including chemotherapy, while being administered a series of trial drugs to try to beat the cancer.
In December last year, she spent a number of weeks in Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
She was taken to St Oswald’s Hospice in September. It was four days before her children were due to take part in the run.
Denise’s ashes are buried with Niall.
Donations to the fund can be made at Lloyds TSB in Amble.