Maidenhead woman struggling to pay funeral costs after tragic death of 17-year-old sister

A heartbroken woman mourning the shock loss of her young sister to cancer says she will struggle to meet the cost of her funeral.

Paige Hawkes, from Furze Platt, lost sister Chanice Colley, who was only 17, just three weeks after she was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Paige, 23, a mum-of-two, said: “She was too young to go. She was about to start her second year of college at BCA and she had her whole life ahead of her.

“I really thought she would pull through. We had already planned her 18th birthday next year. She was my life. Chanice came to live with me from Newcastle last summer because of family issues and I looked after her like a mother.

“My heart is broken.”

Chanice was diagnosed with leukaemia at the beginning of September after Paige found her sister fainting.

Following the diagnosis she received chemotherapy at Wexham Park Hospital, but died on Saturday, September 24.

Now Paige, who works for Maidenhead Tumble Tots at the Magnet Leisure Centre, has started fundraising after finding out she would only get £700 from the Government towards the cost of her sister’s funeral.

She has set up a fundraising page and put out an appeal on Facebook for the funeral, which she expects to cost more than £4,000. She has also been organising cake sales at the youth club in Marlow Road and raffles to raise funds.

“I’m doing all of this because I don’t have a choice. I have to do it because Chanice deserves a proper funeral,” she said.

“I haven’t had the chance to grieve properly because of it. I had no idea funerals were so expensive and that’s not including flowers and the gravestone.

“I want to be able to visit her grave every afternoon and bring flowers. She touched so many people’s hearts; so many people got in touch with her when she was in hospital and she deserves a proper goodbye.”

Yesterday (Wednesday) more than £2,000 had been pledged via the fundraising page.

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