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Hampshire couple's Christmas lights fundraiser in memory of daughter lost to breast cancer
A HAMPSHIRE couple have lit up their house in memory of their daughter.
Mum-of-two Maria Doulton lost her battle with breast cancer and died six years ago – but she will always be remembered by her parents Roy, 62, and Carol Young, 68.
They have smothered their home with up to 5,000 Christmas lights in her honour to help raise money for the hospital that treated her.
The grandparents-of-13 have been lighting up their home in Locks Road, Locks Heath, for three years and have already raised more than £1,500 for the breast cancer ward at Southampton General Hospital.
Maria, 40, had been fighting the disease for eight years and spent months at a time in hospital, but in 2007 lost her battle, leaving behind her two sons who were 11 and 14.
Now the couple want to thank the ward for trying to keep their daughter alive.
As well as putting Christmas lights up in December they also decorate their garden for the summer to raise money and last year won a host of awards in the Fareham in Bloom competition.
Roy has also written a children’s book which will be available in paperback in January to also help the cause.
The lights, which include reindeer, Christ-mas trees, stars and a decorated market cart, took two days to put up. There is a collection box outside for passers-by to donate.
Roy, a manager at Drew Smith housebuilding group, said: “We found that the nurses and doctors always went the extra mile and it’s just nice to give them something back.
“It was a bit like a rollercoaster. It’s very tough for a woman. Breast cancer is an awful disease.
“Christmas is all about family, Christmas is all about sharing, giving rather than receiving, and when someone’s not there it leaves a void that will never be filled.
“We’re grateful for the support from all the local people and all those that drive by and also my employers who regularly donate.
"We just love doing this and we’ve met so many lovely people. It’s great when someone comes walking past and says ‘isn’t that lovely’. Every penny goes towards saving a life.”
The lights will remain up until January 4.
Roy’s book, The Adventures of Traveller Tim will be available on Amazon in January.
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