A massive community fund-raising effort has been launched to help a seriously-ill mother share a dream holiday with her young daughter.
Brave Rosie Ennis, from Alnwick, is battling aggressive breast cancer, which has now spread to the lungs and cannot be cured, only treated and controlled.
It is the second time that the 46-year-old has been diagnosed with the disease, having overcome an initial fight in November, only for it to return weeks later.
Despite her ordeal, the mother-of-three remains upbeat, insisting she will not let the devastating condition break her spirits.
Inspired by this courage and strength, a group of friends and supporters have started the #teamrosie campaign on her behalf.
The aim is to raise £4,000 to send Rosie and six-year-old daughter Autumn on a magical trip to Disneyland Paris.
And at a special fund-raising event in the town next month, the youngster will be transformed into a prom queen for the day – in case her doting mum loses the cancer battle before her beloved daughter turns 16 and has her high-school prom.
Emotional Rosie, who is also mother to Kirsty, 22, and Jason, 19, is humbled and overwhelmed by the support. And she has vowed to carry on smiling through her ordeal.
“It’s the only way I know how to fight it,” she said. “I don’t know how much longer I have got, but you can either sit in a corner and cry or you can do what I do – keep living your life and laughing back at cancer.”
Rosie, who also has a one-year-old granddaughter, was first diagnosed with grade three breast cancer – the most severe form – in February 2014.
She had her right breast removed and was given the all-clear in November. But, at the end of that month, she felt a lump in the same area of her body.
A biopsy revealed that the cancer had returned and it has since spread to her lungs.
“It hit me for six,” said Rosie, who used to work at the town’s Dirty Bottles pub.
“I knew it would return somewhere down the line, but I didn’t think it would return as quickly as it did.”
Rosie, who lives on Ogle Terrace, started a new round of chemotherapy yesterday and she is staying positive, whatever the outcome.
She said: “Even if this doesn’t work, there are other treatments to try and I will keep going and going.
“It cannot be cured, only controlled and treated, but I don’t look at it as terminal cancer. To me, it is just cancer.”
Rosie admits that she hasn’t told Autumn about the full severity of the disease and is trying to keep things as normal as possible for her.
She told the Gazette that the trip to Disneyland would help to create some special memories for the pair of them.
As part of the #teamrosie fund-raising initiative, a family fun day, which is open to everyone, is being staged at Alnwick Rugby Club on Friday, June 26, from 5pm.
Autumn, a pupil at the town’s St Paul’s RCVA First School, will be transformed into a prom queen at the event.
Rosie, who calls her beloved daughter ‘a little princess’ said: “I don’t know where my treatment will take me and how long I have got.
“My outlook at the moment is I would like to see Autumn reach 16.
“I don’t know if I will last that long, but I will do my best to see her turn 16 and see her at her high-school prom.”
The #teamrosie group has made an appeal for someone to donate a prom dress to Autumn for the family fun day.
The fund-raising campaign has already caught people’s interest and local businesses have rallied to help.
Among those to support the cause, the White Swan Hotel is giving Rosie and Autumn a free night’s stay, while Doc’s Bar recently served a fund-raising Royal Rosie cocktail.
Rosie said: “The response from the community has been amazing and I would just like to thank everybody for all their support.”
Julie Hardy, of #teamrosie, said: “Rosie is an inspiration and fantastic ambassador to anyone battling cancer and we want to raise money to create some special memories.”
For more details, search Teamrosie on Facebook.