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Herne Bay mum Kayleigh Duff, 24, dies after battle with rare form of cancer

By Lowri Stafford

A young mother who captured the hearts of the nation as she bravely battled a rare form of cancer has died.

Kayleigh Duff, from Herne Bay, succumbed to the disease in the early hours of Tuesday morning, aged just 24.

The single mum, of Wye Green, leaves behind a three-year-old son, Kai.

Kayleigh Duff with her three-year-old son Kai

Kayleigh was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012, which then spread to her liver and brain.

Her illness was brought on by a rare gene defect, which killed her father aged 37 in 1998.

After being given the devastating news that it was untreatable, the former Spires Academy pupil drew up a bucket list of experiences she wanted to have.

Kayleigh Duff with son Kai

Friends and well-wishers rallied round and raised thousands to help her realise her dreams.

In May last year, she had a dinner date with Hollywood film star Tom Hardy, who also visited her just last week with his actress partner Charlotte Riley.

In the same month, she was able to take her son on a dream holiday to Disney World in Florida, to give him happy memories to look back on.

Kayleigh on a lunch date with actor Tom Hardy

She also had a hen party and then a bridal photoshoot at Whitstable Castle, so that her mother Beverley could see her in a wedding dress.

Her "groom" on the day, male model Danny Wisker, was among hundreds to pay tribute to Kayleigh after news of her death broke.

In a message on her Facebook page, he wrote: "RIP Kayleigh Duff, such an amazing woman.

Kayleigh had a wedding photoshoot with male model Danny Wisker as her "groom"

"Will never forget you or the very special day I spent with you and your family! Truly lost for words. Nothing but love for you."

Her plight was brought to the nation's attention when she appeared on the This Morning sofa last April to chat to hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

But despite the bleak prognosis, Kayleigh stayed positive for the sake of her son.

Kayleigh Duff on ITV's This Morning
Kayleigh had a wedding photoshoot at Whitstable Castle
Kayleigh with her son Kai at her wedding photoshoot

Speaking last year, she said: "At the end of the day I cannot change anything.

"This was what was laid out for me and I have got to get on with it."

Throughout her illness, her family had spent time looking into alternative remedies, while friends raised money to pay for private treatment after doctors revealed there was no plan B.

The popular young mum setting out for her hen party with friends

Her mum also quit her job to spend more time with her daughter and help her bring up Kai.

Her death is the latest tragedy for the family, following the death of her stepfather Mick in a road accident in 2012.

Pay your tributes to Kayleigh Duff below.

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