1. ITV Report

Five brothers orphaned as parents die from bowel cancer just weeks apart

Omena Ubiaro and Makeda's children have been left orphaned by their parents' deaths. Credit: GoFundMe/Ubiaro family

Five brothers have been left orphans after both their parents died of bowel cancer just weeks apart.

Omena Ubiaro died in the early hours of Monday morning, while his wife Makeda passed away on July 29.

In a heartbreaking video posted online from his hospital bed on August 16 just days before his death, Mr Ubiaro said cancer was the "toughest thing" he had ever had to face.

Omena Ubiaro thanked people from his hospital bed. Credit: GoFundMe/Ubiaro family

He said: "Myself and my five boys, we just lost my wife, they've lost a mother and I've also lost a best friend as well... It has been difficult for the boys, it has been difficult for myself.

"I know a lot of the time people say 'be strong', but sometimes it's tough because I'm thinking 'where do I find that strength from, that extra strength to be strong?'.

"I cannot lie, it has been the toughest thing that a husband and a father has ever had to face or deal with."

The couple died just weeks apart. Credit: GoFundMe/Ubiaro family

Family friend Charles Busari, from Tipton in the West Midlands, set up a GoFundMe page, initially to help raise money for Mrs Ubiaro's funeral while her husband was bedridden in hospital.

The donations - which on Tuesday morning totalled more than £42,000 and was rising fast - will now be used to support the couple's children in the future.

Both Omena and Makeda Ubiaro died from bowel cancer. Credit: GoFundMe/Ubiaro family

Breaking the news of Mr Ubiaro's death on the website, Mr Busari wrote: "It breaks my heart to report that sadly our dear brother Omena has lost his fight to cancer.

"Unfortunately our worst fears have been confirmed and we now need your donations more than ever to support the children."

Paying tribute to the couple, one well-wisher replied: "So sad reading through this. Makes you think how lucky we are at times in life. Life is too short."

Another added: "You showed the world what love was until the very end."

What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?

  • Bleeding from your anus
  • Blood in your faeces
  • A change in bowel habit lasting three weeks or more
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your stomach

Bowel Cancer UK advises going to see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.