Tribute to brave mum Tammy Sheridan who was an inspiration to so many others

Tammy Sheridan, modelling one of the wedding gowns at the Happisburgh Church, in August 2014. Pictur

Tammy Sheridan, modelling one of the wedding gowns at the Happisburgh Church, in August 2014. Picture: Maurce Gray, - Credit: Archant

A mother of two who battled the odds after being diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and vowed she would encourage others with the disease to fight back, has died aged 36.

Tammy Sheridan, who lived in North Walsham with partner Ben Edwards and her daughters, Kayleigh, 18, and Katrina, 10, was advised by her consultant oncologist to have chemotherapy after a lump and some lymph glands were removed, in 2014.

Tammy, then aged 33, was determined to be one jump ahead and decided to have her shoulder length hair shaved off before the chemo treatment took it.

The head-shave took place in front of family and friends and her eldest daughter Kayleigh, volunteered to have her head shaved at the same time and between them they raised over £1000 for Cancer Research.

Tammy was confident that the treatment would rid her of the illness and was encouraged throughout the ordeal by her partner and daughters.

She always had a long term ambition to become a model and to take her mind off her illness was coaxed into the possibilities when a fashion designer offered her an opportunity to model wedding gowns at an event organised by celebrity fashion designer Kevin Thornhill, who created gowns for celebrities and was involved with the design and making of Princess Diana's wedding gown.

While Mr Thornhill was in Norfolk he heard about Tammy's illness and ambitions and organised a fashion show at Happisburgh Church to enable her to model some designer wedding gowns and raise funds and awareness for Cancer Research.

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Her excitement was dampened with the worry of being void of hair and was not keen to wear a wig, but rather a scarf until a passing comment was to change her attitude and fulfil her ambitions.

She mentioned, at the time, a friend said to her: 'You look beautiful bald, it makes you look sexy.'

Those few words changed Tammy's confidence and gained her determination. She modelled the gowns, completely bald, just like a professional.

The news travelled far and wide with other victims given that extra kick start and to be proud of their looks and it may just have been a coincidence that big city fashion shows were allowing what could be an extra fashion, by being bald.

Next came photo shoots and her consultant said at the time: 'When patients receive a cancer diagnosis it can be devastating, but we admire Tammy for wanting to help others and she is a credit to her family and friends'.

Tammy went on to receive intensive radiotherapy which gave her confidence and her partner Ben proposed to her on Christmas Day 2015 which she accepted and preparations were made for the wedding in August 2017, with church and venues booked.

Unfortunately, earlier this year, Tammy was given the devastating news that the cancer had returned and this time it was attacking her bones and the news was bad.

Although Tammy was aware of circumstances she put up a fight by giving herself a target which gave her strength and looked forward to her wedding day in August next year. But, tragically, she lost the battle and passed away peacefully while in the care of the Priscilla Bacon Hospice on 2nd December 2016.

Ben found out that his fiancé had secretly purchased her wedding dress, as a surprise in readiness for their marriage, but, it wasn't to be.

'I did see a picture of her when she modelled the wedding gowns and walked down the aisle and she looked so beautiful', he recalled.

The funeral takes place at St Faiths Crematorium at 3.30pm on Friday and afterwards at the Black Swan, North Walsham.

Family flowers only but donations may be sent to Peter Taylor, Funeral Service, 85 Unthank Road, Norwich, NR2 2PE made out to Cancer Research.

The dress code is to wear something purple, Tammy's favourite colour.

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