A terminally-ill woman who raised nearly £7,000 for her own funeral has died after being given weeks to live.
Shirley Hellyar, 40, from Glasgow, thought she had beaten cancer and travelled to Newcastle to celebrate.
While visiting friends in October she suffered chest pains and was told she had less than five weeks to live.
The actress said her family had already lost her brother when he was 16 and added “no parents should have to have funerals for all their children”.
She was recently cast as a villager in a Netflix production called Outlaw King, starring Hollywood actor Chris Pine, and said she had hoped to see it broadcast but died two days before its general release on 9 November.
A statement on her fundraising page said Miss Hellyar “unfortunately passed away in her sleep” at St Oswald’s Hospice in Gosforth, Newcastle, surrounded by family and friends on Wednesday.
“Shirley was very grateful for everyone’s help and donations which made her last few weeks so much better.
She said that all the help she has received restored her faith in human kindness. Thank you all once again,” the statement continued.
Miss Hellyar developed a tumour on her lung and was first diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2017.
‘Faith in humanity’
By early September this year, she said the tumour had shrunk and she was well enough to travel to Newcastle where she had lived for years and used to work as a sexual health worker.
More than 300 people donated £6,956 to help her parents Elizabeth and Gordon pay for her funeral and their travel costs from Scotland.
Many donors left messages of support, while some offered to provide services at the funeral or places for her family to stay in Newcastle.
One donor, Martin Robson, said he did not know Miss Hellyar but posted the following tribute: “I heard your story on Radio Newcastle and was so shocked at your story and how sad it was for you.
“I sat there numb and in tears whilst hearing you talk of your cancer, well done for being so brave and I hope the money you raised will give you the beautiful, loving funeral you deserve.”
Another donor Sharon Rae wrote: “A brave courageous lady. So very sorry to hear of her passing.”