Devastated mum raises money for her own funeral after learning cancer is terminal

A mother is now raising money for her own funeral after being devastated by the diagnosis of terminal cancer.

Victoria Holdcroft, 38, found a lump on her breast before Christmas. Her GP initially thought it was a cyst, but she was referred to the hospital’s breast clinic as a precaution.

Following an ultrasound, mammograms and biopsy at Royal Stoke University Hospital, she was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in January 2022. It has since tragically progressed to stage four after spreading rapidly, Live reporting from Stoke-on-Trent.

Now Victoria, from Biddulph, is trying to come to terms with the heartbreaking diagnosis, alongside partner Chris Phillips, 38, teenage daughter Aaliyah-Rose Wilshaw and eight-year-old son Arlo Phllips.

In a short time, the cancer spread to the spine, hip, stomach and lungs. She is currently undergoing palliative treatment.

Victoria said: “I felt fine, I wasn’t sick at all. It was a complete and utter shock. We have no history of breast cancer in the family and I am too young to have it.

“It’s surreal because now I have trouble walking. I can’t walk anywhere without crutches or a wheelchair. I have so much pain in my spine and hip.

“I’m devastated. I have two young children and I’m not going to see them grow up the way I wanted, which is the worst.

Children of Victoria Holdcroft, Arlo Phillips and Aaliyah-Rose Wilshaw

“I started having pain in my hip before I was told it had spread, but I thought it was arthritis. The pain is excruciating. I’m on morphine and they’re touching it barely.I did radiation therapy and hope it will relieve the pain.

“My son doesn’t understand, so I didn’t tell him much. I made a comment about the death and he was really upset about it. My daughter understands what is happening and is devastated.

“She is about to do her GCSEs next year and this year is important for the school. It shook her up and she doesn’t want to go to school. She wants to be home. She is afraid that I will die and that she will not be there.

“With my mobility deteriorating, it looks like I’m going tomorrow. We don’t know how much time I have left.

Victoria Holdcroft with her son Arlo Phillips
Victoria Holdcroft with her son Arlo Phillips

Victoria has now set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his funeral and his family. The page has already reached its goal of £10,000.

She added: “Hopefully with the treatment I could be here for a few years, but I won’t be here forever. I don’t think I’ll be here for more than five years.

“We have no savings. My partner pays all the bills and we have no more money for emergencies. If I die, funerals don’t come cheap.

“My mum would help anyway and she would pay, but it’s her retirement money. She doesn’t have a lot of retirement savings. She’ll be okay with what she has.

Victoria Holdcroft and her daughter Aaliyah-Rose Wilshaw
Victoria Holdcroft and her daughter Aaliyah-Rose Wilshaw

“She’s going to help me raise my children when I’m gone, so they all need her financial support. There are things like credit cards and store cards that everyone has, I don’t want to leave my partner with more bills.

“The support has been incredibly amazing. I suffer from low self-esteem, so I don’t think I realized what I meant to people. It is really touching.

“My best friend said she wouldn’t pay for my funeral, she wants to spend money on me while I’m alive, so she offered me outings and things like that. She told me taken for a meal and a theater performance.

“Just thank you for all the support. It’s overwhelming. I hope to be able to see friends again whom I have not seen for a long time and who have contacted me.

“My family is made up of the most wonderful people in the world. Everyone deserves so much credit. I look forward to spending time with them.

To support the fundraising, click on here.

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