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Tragic Minster mum Kirsty Bowry loses cervical cancer battle day before she was due to wed Sheppey FC captain Russell Jeffrey

By Emma Grove

Tributes have been paid to a young Sheppey mother who has lost her battle with cancer – a day before she was due to marry.

Kirsty Bowry, from Minster, was diagnosed in summer last year and she passed away surrounded by loved ones on Friday.

She had been due to wed Russell Jeffrey on Saturday, but - after receiving bad news about her health - they decided to hold a private ceremony at her mother Maggie's house.

Kirsty Bowry with her husband Russell Jeffrey
Kirsty Bowry with her husband Russell Jeffrey

Kirsty, who had an aggressive form of cervical cancer, tied the knot with her sweetheart on Thursday, May 1 - also her 29th birthday.

Former Danley Middle School and Minster College pupil Kirsty worked as a florist before giving birth and becoming a full-time mum to her daughter Paige, now two.

Her husband Russell is the captain of Sheppey FC and his team wore black armbands and held a minute silence before their match on Saturday.

Thousands of pounds have already been raised in Kirsty's memory since her death.

Describing her death as heartbreaking, friend Emily Rowland said she has never been so inspired by anyone because she was so positive and strong.

Tragic Kirsty Bowry at home with her daughter Paige
Tragic Kirsty Bowry at home with her daughter Paige

She said: "Sometimes in life someone comes along and blows your mind, turns out to be an inspiration, makes you realise how lucky you are but most importantly makes you feel honoured to be a part of their life – this was Kirsty.

"Kirsty was a fantastic mum and her daughter was her life. Together with her wonderful supportive family and her all-round positive attitude, we truly have met an inspirational woman who we hold the upmost gratitude for being in our lives."

Kirsty's mother Maggie said: "We are lost for words by what people have done for our family and broken hearted at her loss."

As well as her two-year-old daughter Paige, husband Russell and mother Maggie, Kirsty leaves her father Pete and brothers Joe, Tom and Luke.

Mrs Rowland has set up a fundraising page in her friend's memory to support her husband and daughter.

Kirsty Bowry, who lost her battle with an aggressive form of cervical cancer, with partner Russell Jeffrey
Kirsty Bowry, who lost her battle with an aggressive form of cervical cancer, with partner Russell Jeffrey

More than £3,500 has already been donated and a school disco-themed fundraiser planned for next weekend is expected to boost it further.

It will take place at Bonds Sports and Social Club, New Road, Sheerness, on Saturday, May 24, from 7pm.

Everyone is welcome to go along in school uniform fancy dress and there will be live music, a magic show, a school dinner and more.

Tickets cost £10 and are available from Mrs Rowland on 07801 424107 or Sam Safe on 07925 189448. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/925900.

Kirsty's funeral will take place at the Garden of England Crematorium in Bobbing on Wednesday, May 21, at midday followed by a get-together at the Bay View pub in Leysdown. Mourners are asked to wear lilac and cream, as these were the couple's wedding colours, and the family would like it to be a celebration of Kirsty's life.

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