Raising money for 'the most courageous person I've ever met'

A Wigan mum raising awareness for Cystic Fibrosis in celebration of her late daughter says she was 'the most courageous person I've ever met.'

Friday, 5th May 2017, 1:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 4:34 pm
Danielle Joy (nee Smith) with mum Karen

Danielle Jolley passed away last June after her body stopped responding to treatment. The 33-year-old had been married to husband Adam for just 10 months, and left behind a seven-year-old son.

But despite knowing she was dying, mum Karen Smith said Danielle never let the prospect get her down.

“My daughter was the most courageous person I’ve ever met,” she said.

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Danielle Joy (nee Smith) on her wedding day with father Ronnie

“Danielle knew she was dying but she still got up and went to work every day as normal. She still lived life to the full. It was an honour to know her and call myself her mum. I was privileged and proud.”

For the 58-year-old from Winstanley, the situation was more difficult to deal with for herself, husband Ronnie and their son Gavin.

She said: “It was hard for everybody else because she hadn’t long been married.

“The pain is still quite raw, but now we feel like we have to make something good come of it.”

Danielle Joy (nee Smith) on her wedding day with father Ronnie

Karen is now organising a grand charity event to raise awareness and funds for Cystic Fibrosis Research.

A masquerade ball will be held at Holland Hall in Up Holland on June 10, barely a week on from the first anniversary of Danielle’s death.

The red carpet will be rolled out for the glitzy and glamorous night, with a three course meal and an auction full of exciting prizes.

But Karen insisted it is not going to be a mournful occasion.

“I want it to be in celebration of Danielle, not in memory of her. We want something good to come from what’s happened to our family,” she said.

She also hopes the event will help raise much needed funds and awareness of the life-threatening disease, which affects 10,500 people in the UK.

It is caused by a single defective gene which causes internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, to become clogged with thick sticky mucus.

This results in chronic infections, inflammation of the lungs and difficulty in digesting food.

“It is a young person’s disease and it’s terminal,” Karen added.

“People who have it don’t live long, it just doesn’t happen.”

Indeed, the average predicted survival for someone with Cystic Fibrosis currently stands at 41-years-old.

“They won’t find a cure in my lifetime, but hopefully they will do very soon.”

Tickets for the event are £25.

Anyone interested in atending can call Holland Hall on 01695 624426.