Husband And Wife Die Of Cancer 5 Days Apart; Thousands Donate Over $300K To Support Their Children
"Till death do us part."
Those were the unspoken words as she held the hand of her dying husband before she herself, five days later, bid goodbye to this world. As fate would have it, the couple died of the same disease: cancer.
Julie Bennet, 50, from Wallasey, England died of liver and kidney cancer just before midnight on Saturday at St. John's Hospice, Merseyside in North West England, the Daily Mail reported.
Five days earlier, Julie's husband Mike Bennet, 57, succumbed to brain cancer also at the same facility.
They left behind three children: Luke, 21, Hannah, 18, and Oliver, 13.
Just before Julie passed away, her friends promised her that they would support her children. They set up a JustGiving page, which quickly drew thousands of donors. As of Wednesday, Feb. 15, the donations amounted to £244,300 (US$303,696.00), coming from 10,994 supporters.
Mike Bennet was a self-employed cabinet maker in the U.K. who learned he had a brain tumour in 2013, according to the Mail.
Three years later, in May 2016, his wife Julie, a teacher at Somerville School in Wallasey, England, was diagnosed with liver and kidney cancer, which quickly metastasised to other organs in her body.
Luke Bennet, the couple's eldest child, thanked donors for their generosity and for condoling with the family, The Guardian reported.
"My brother, sister and I are overwhelmed by the enormous support and generosity we have received from so many friends and well-wishers.
"Mum has appreciated all the help from close friends in supporting the family over the last three years through difficult times and it would be a huge relief to her to know this support will continue," he said.
Family friend Heather Heaton Gallagher said what happened to the Bennet couple was "beyond belief," adding that all they could do for now was to support their children "so that they can stay together and ensure that they can continue their education as planned."
Some of the donors reached out from across the sea. Jillie Klarman from Washington D.C. extended her heartfelt condolences to the couple's children. "I lost both of my parents to cancer as well and I understand your pain. Sending you all love, strength, and support from Washington, DC," she wrote on the JustGiving page for the Bennet children.