Daughter’s pledge to fundraise

Jessica Hartley and her mum Carol
Jessica Hartley and her mum Carol

Instead of flowers, a card or a homemade gift this Mother’s Day, Jessica Hartley will be inspiring others to join a good cause close to her heart.

The 21-year-old lost her mum, Carol, to cancer 18 months ago - and on Sunday, Jessica will be urging others to sign up to Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.

Jessica, of Ebury Street Batley, gave up her job to care for her mum after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The pair enjoyed a series of trips together all around the country, including visits to Gretna Green and Whitby, fulfilling Carol’s wish to see all of her favourite places.

Jessica, who works as an administrator, said: “After being diagnosed with cancer, my mum decided it was her time to live.

“My mum never had a down day. She smiled when she wanted to cry, she stayed strong when she felt at her weakest and she loved everything and everyone, when she had every reason to hate the situation she was put in by the illness she was given.”

Carol was diagnosed with cancer - which spread from her bile duct - in 2011.

Her chemotherapy initially worked well but after becoming ill with arthritis, Jessica gave up her job to look after her mum full-time.

She said: “We spent lots of precious time together and created lots of memories.”

In March 2012, Carol organised a big party for her 49th birthday, after receiving the dreaded news she wasn’t likely to live until her 50th.

Later that year she was admitted to Wheatfields Hospice and lost her fight in October.