Brave girl, 11, celebrates life of terminally ill mum

A BRAVE 11-year-old girl is organising a ‘life celebration’ event for her mum, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Jae Rutter is determined to thank the staff at Lister Hospital in Stevenage for all they have done to help her mum, Natalie Maskell, by raising money for the Forster Suite.

Miss Maskell, 35, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and had a double mastectomy, as well as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

She took anti-cancer drug tamoxifen for five years.

Then, in September 2006, Miss Maskell was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer.

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Despite radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, the cancer has now spread to her brain and there is nothing doctors can do to save her life.

With the help of Miss Maskell’s brother, Jason, Jae is organising a fundraising event which will be held at a Bedfordshire venue on September 17, and will include a disco, open-book auction, raffle and lucky dip.

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Jae said: “We have decided to hold a charity event in celebration of my wonderful mum and the 35 years she has lived.

“I love her so much, along with everyone who knows her, and will miss her unbelievably when she is gone.

“She’s an amazing woman and has been strong throughout all that has happened.

“This party is the least we can do to recognise how extraordinary she is and that she will never be forgotten.”

As well as raising money for Lister, the family and friends event will also raise money for St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger, where Miss Maskell has received respite care and complimentary therapy.

In a letter written by Jae, that she has distributed as widely as possible, it says: “I am writing to ask if you would be so kind as to donate something to auction, which would mean a lot to me, my family, and, most of all, my mum.”

She said the hospital and hospice staff “have done so much for her, and it would be great to know we can help future cancer sufferers get as much love and care as my mum has been given throughout her tough times.”

Miss Maskell, who lived in Chells Way in Stevenage before moving to Sandy, said of her daughter: “I’m so proud of her. She’s handling the whole situation very well. She’s standing up to it, and she’s very mature for her age.”

She added: “I just want to make sure Lister and the hospice get thanked for what they have done.

“I don’t know how they keep on smiling through everything there. They are just wonderful people.”

To donate a prize for the auction, call Natalie Maskell on 01767 221795, Jason Maskell on 07956981296, or email Jason at

To make a donation to the Forster Suite, visit

To make a donation to St John’s Hospice, visit

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