Daughter starts fundraiser for dying mother
By KEREM HASAN / Chief Reporter
AN APPEAL has been launched to raise £27,000 to pay for the care and treatment of a TRNC resident expat who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Jan Cottee, 71, who retired to North Cyprus 10 years ago, was diagnosed with a large cancerous brain tumour in June of this year.
Daughter Amanda Walters, who started the online fundraising campaign, said the tumour returned just eight weeks after surgery to remove it, growing back to its original size and is “sitting in Jan’s head taking over her mind and her body with no let up”.
Her mother’s health has “plummeted and continues to decline rapidly” she said.
Writing on the JustGiving donation page, Ms Walters said: “For those of you who have had the pleasure to meet Jan you will know that she is one of the world’s most vibrant, caring, vivacious, kind, funny, loving, daring ‘just do it’ kind of gorgeous women.
“She is an amazing mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, daughter, friend, professional colleague and companion to hundreds of people she has met on life’s journey so far.
“Ten years ago, after an impressive career including working for the NHS and a daring sailing history, Jan bravely left her roots and family in the UK to begin her retirement alone in a derelict resort in Northern Cyprus, which soon became a beautiful Oasis – Thalassa.
“Her kindness and beautiful ways led her to be known as the ‘Lady Of Thalassa’. She immediately became the hub of the community caring for all the owners’ apartments, families, entertained their children, watered their plants – you name it, she took care of it!
“She used her skills to build and nurture a fantastic environment for all and organised numerous charity events to raise money for those in need. Now though Jan can’t help anyone but instead she needs your help.”
Jan Cottee’s family wanted to get her back to the UK so that “normal end of life care could take place there” and where she would be “surrounded by family and friends”.
“Unfortunately it’s too serious a medical emergency to fly and with Covid-19 restrictions it is impossible,” Ms Walters explained.
“There are no hospices/nursing or care homes in North Cyprus. This means that only families do the caring and needless to say there is no NHS.
“A few of us managed to get [to North Cyprus] and quarantined in the government-designated hotels and we are trying our best to be her carers, whilst battling every day with our own personal struggles.
“We are all worried and scared, spread out across the world feeling powerless and helpless, knowing that it will be impossible for the majority of her family and friends to say goodbye.”
Ms Walters said that the cost of “stay at home” private medical care for her mother is currently £2,500 per month.
“That excludes drugs, scans, injections, doctors, callouts, transport, equipment and basic needs – each time we go near the hospital it’s another £500 to £1,000.
“Costs are going to increase soon as we get nearer to the end of this horrendous journey, as more intensive care is needed.
“Once the money runs out we have nowhere to go. Jan has literally a few months to live and we dream of making her last days on earth calm, dignified and pain-free. We would not ask if we didn’t need help.”
Any money remaining from the campaign will be donated to cancer charities “in order to help families in need” Ms Walters added. As of yesterday afternoon the campaign had raised over £15,000. To donate visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpjan.