Hastings daughter’s goal to finish garden for cancer-fighting mum

Toni Morris (left) wants to raise funds to finished their garden for her mum Maria Durling (right) who has incurable cancer
Toni Morris (left) wants to raise funds to finished their garden for her mum Maria Durling (right) who has incurable cancer

A loving daughter from St Leonards has set up a fundraiser to try to finish off the family garden for her mum who has incurable cancer.

Toni Morris set up an online donation page to raise as much as possible to give Maria Durling a finished garden to enjoy at their Hartfield Meadow home as she battles cancer in her breast and liver.

The 43-year-old mum-of-four would like help with the heavy lifting and to install a memorial for her husband Anthony Morris who died of lung cancer five years ago.

Maria said it is a lovely thing for Toni to organise but admitting to having to swallow her pride as she says ‘she’s never asked for anything’.

“At first I was a little bit dubious as I’ve never asked for help at all, all the time bringing the kids up,” Maria said.

“But Toni wants to do it for me so I couldn’t say no as it’s something she wants to do, so I’ve had to swallow my pride.”

Maria was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and went through chemotherapy, radiotherapy and was in remission when Anthony died in 2011.

In March, Maria was told the cancer had come back and was incurable but manageable.

Then she was told the cancer had spread to her liver and she would have to restart chemotherapy.

Toni said the family has become numb after the amount of bad news they have had to deal with and all they want now is to make their mum happy by finishing the garden.

“We don’t really talk to each other about it, we just get on with it as we’re broken as a family,” she said.

“We don’t know what to think anymore as we’ve had so much bad news.”

Toni’s younger brothers Edward, 16, and Alfie, 13, have struggled to deal with their mother’s illness but Toni hopes a place for them to play outside would really help.

“Every house we’ve lived in, mum’s always done it up and we’ve been here for two years and she’s done the inside but not the outside.

“It’s a very big garden with lots to be done. We’ve been paying builders to do it but mum can’t afford it anymore.

“She thinks it’s great, she was overwhelmed as she knows she’s going to get her garden one way or another.”

Nearly £500 has been raised so far and Maria is hoping to buy a shed, some wishing wells and a few flowers to decorate the garden.

“I just want the garden to be finished by the time my treatment is over so I can enjoy it,” she said.

To donate towards Maria’s garden, visit: www.gofundme.com/r7ydquy4

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