Following the devastating loss of a beloved wife, mum and sister, one family is raising awareness for the disease that took her life – and saying a special thank you to those who cared for her in her final days.

Marlene Marshall, passed away on May 22 from ovarian cancer, leaving behind her loving husband, Andrew, and two children Stephanie, 33, and Shane, 28.

The lifelong Workington woman – an avid bingo player – was also hugely popular within her adored town, with countless friends who will all miss her greatly.

Stephanie said: “Mum would do anything for anybody.

“No matter what it was, if somebody needed help with something, she would be there, and do whatever she could for them.

“She was always at the bingo!

"And she’s lived in Workington her whole life, so she seemed to know absolutely everybody – she was a really lovely person, and everyone loved her.”

In her last days, the 68-year-old was cared for at West Cumberland Hospital’s Loweswater Suite, and despite concerns that her time with family would be cut short due to Covid restrictions, the staff went “above and beyond” to keep Marlene’s loved ones close.

“I can’t even find the words to thank the hospital staff enough for what they did,” said Stephanie.

“They set up camp beds for us, gave us bedding, food, toiletries, toothbrushes – things you don’t even realise you need until you’re in that situation.

“They even helped us all do finger prints, and lots of sentimental things, like little crochet hearts for us to keep, and for Mum to have with her, too.”

She added: “The things they all did for us and for our mum were just amazing.

"You never want to be in that situation, but they made it as nice as they could for us.

“It was never going to be easy, but it would have been so much harder to lose her if it hadn’t been for the hospital staff doing so much for us.”

And Marlene’s visits didn’t end there, as the hospital also allowed her siblings Hazel, Yvonne, Raymond and Barry to stay by her side – with two visitors at a time, in line with Covid restrictions – and even Stephanie’s Jackhuahua, Gizmo, was invited into the suite.

After experiencing such fantastic care, Marlene’s family is now raising funds for the Loweswater Suite, hoping the money will help support other people going through the same heartbreaking experience.

Stephanie said: “There’s no way the hospital can fund what all the staff did for us, so we just wanted to help them provide the special things they did for us for other people.

“It doesn’t make losing Mum easier, but it’s helping us to feel good about something, and do something useful for other people.”

But it’s not just about raising money, as Stephanie also wants to raise awareness for the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

She said: “If you think you’re experiencing any of the symptoms, like bloating that doesn’t go away, go and get it checked.

“Mum put her symptoms down to IBS [Irritable Bowel Syndrome] and just accepted that, but you know your own body, and you know if something is wrong – it’s scary, but if you think something is wrong, ask for help.”

Marlene’s funeral was held at St Mary’s Church, Workington, on Friday, and her family asked for donations to the Loweswater Suite fundraiser to be made in her memory.

And Stephanie is already overwhelmed with the support received.

“I set a target of £400, but I never actually thought we’d get there,” she said.

“But we’re already at £420, which is amazing!

"Thank you so much to everybody who has made a donation, and thank you again to the [Loweswater Suite] staff.

“We’ll never be able to thank them enough for everything they did for Mum.”

To make a donation in honour of Marlene, visit her family’s JustGiving page, at

To find out more about the symptoms and treatment of ovarian cancer, visit the NHS website at