1. ITV Report

Fundraising campaign for children of parents who both died from cancer in same week

The children of Mike and Julie Bennet have shared a photo of the moment their parents said goodbye Photo: Bennet family photo
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A fundraising campaign has raised more than £100,000 to support three children from Wirral who've been orphaned after losing both of their parents to cancer within a week.

Friends of Mike and Julie Bennet set up the page after promising to take care of the couple's three children.

They're hoping to raise enough money for the couple’s three children, Oliver, 13; Hannah, 18, and Luke, 21 so they can stay in the family home.

Family friend Heather Heaton Gallagher described Mike and Julie as "the most supportive parents".

Facing a double terminal cancer diagnosis is beyond belief and as a community we are working hard to support the family so that they can stay together and ensure that they can continue their education as planned.

The biggest challenge is that the family car, a Motorbility car has to be returned meaning that the kids can’t get around to manage practical and personal activities.

Julie and Mike have been the most supportive parents encouraging their children’s interest in dance and acting from a very early age.

All three children thrive on the stage and I know that Julie and Mike would not want this to stop their children from dancing and performing. To help them do this, we need to make them mobile again and help cover the costs that this brings.

– Heather Heaton Gallagher, family friend

Mike Bennet had been fighting cancer since 2013, having been diagnosed with a brain tumour, and had been nursed at home by Julie and the children. The 57-year-old was a self-employed cabinet maker who had served his apprenticeship with Baldock’s Furniture Makers in Liverpool.

Mum Julie, aged 50, who was a primary school teacher at Somerville School in Wallasey, was diagnosed with liver and kidney cancer in May 2016.

In the heartbreaking image shared by the children, Julie clings to her dying husband Mike’s hand, as she says goodbye to him.

Mike died on Monday, February 6, with Julie and the children around. Last night Julie Bennet passed away at the same hospice.

The Bennet family Credit: Bennet family photo

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.

– Luke Bennet, son of Mike and Julie Bennet

To donate to the fundraising campaign for the Bennet family - follow this link for their Just Giving page.