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Durham cancer mum overcame house fire
TRIBUTES have been paid to a mother-of-four whose plight touched the hearts of people throughout the North-East when she was made homeless within days of being told she had weeks to live.
Cancer sufferer Dawn Milburn, 28, who was the victim of a house fire was inundated with offers of support after The Northern Echo broke the news of her plight.
Readers helped contribute more than £1,600, while dozens offered to replace damaged household goods.
Miss Milburn, who had a leg amputated in an earlier attempt to beat the cancer, was sleeping at her cramped mother's house, along with her young children Josh, Jack, Ben, and Casey-Ann.
Her home in Annand Road, Gilesgate, Durham City, was repaired by landlord Durham Homes and she was later able to move back - dying there on June 13.
Her mother, Terry Milburn, said: “Dawn fought right to the bitter end and was very brave.
“She wanted to thank everyone who helped her – all her well wishers.
“She was a lovely daughter and I am so proud of her.”
Ms Milburn said when her daughter was told in February that she had only ten weeks to live, she was determined to live long enough to celebrate her son Jack’s sixth birthday.
Ms Milburn said: “Dawn made it to Jack’s birthday, as well as to Joshua’s eighth birthday, Casey’s first birthday and her own birthday. That is how determined she was.
“The only one she didn’t make was Ben’s birthday. We are going to have a big birthday party for Ben when he turns four in September.
“Dawn put her children before anything else.”
Ms Milburn said her daughter had hoped she could inspire others.
She said: “Dawn said if she could prove to one person that no matter what they tell you, you don’t have to believe it.
“She had the cancer, she had one leg and she was looking after four children.
“And she said that if she can do it, anyone can do it. You don’t just have to lie down and take it.
“She was really bad when they held the jubilee celebrations at the school, but she still made it.
“She was up half the night making cakes as the bairns wanted cakes to take with them.”
Her funeral service was held St Giles’ Church, followed by cremation.
Ms Milburn said: “She would have liked the send-off that she got."