Tributes paid to 24-year-old mum by her Sprowston parents

The parents of a 24-year-old mother who died after being diagnosed with cancer said today she was a 'grand, great girl' whose life had been fulfilled by the birth of her two children.

Jenny and Nathan Alden, both 46 and from Edwards Court, Sprowston, said their daughter Kaye, right, remained brave to the end after she was diagnosed with rectal cancer just three months after the birth of her second child.

Miss Alden had previously been in good health and had two children, now aged three and one, with her fianc� in Wymondham.

Mr Alden said: 'She loved children and when she had her own it made her day and fulfilled her dream. She said that it was one blessing that if the cancer had come earlier she would not have had her second child.'

He added: 'She was a happy, down to earth person, very practical and undemanding. She was not materialistic at all. She was a grand, great girl. She loved going to bingo in Aylsham Road and going for a drive.

'Lots of people have paid tribute to her. We were initially going to ask just family and close friends to the funeral, but there were so many tributes, that we decided to let all the people come that wanted to.'

The couple spoke to the Evening News to pay tribute to their daughter and also to urge people to support the Priscilla Bacon Centre for specialist palliative care services, also known as Priscilla Bacon Lodge, in Unthank Road, where Kaye was cared for in her last few weeks.

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Mr Alden said: 'We did not know it was a charity or how wonderful the nurses were going to be there.'

He added: 'The lodge treated her like she was one of their own daughters.

'We carried out a bedside vigil at the lodge for the last few days, and it made it easier for us. In the end Kaye died peacefully.'

The family said that contracting cancer at such a young age was either sheer bad luck or genetically related and doctors were to carry out tests to determine whether it was the latter.

Mr Alden, who works in building supplies while his wife works at Tesco in Blue Boar Lane, Sprowston, said: 'Some genetic tests will be carried out on Kaye's children.

'Obviously, if it is genetically related, then there's the constant worry that the children will contract cancer, and they will have to be screened throughout their lives.'

Miss Alden had both children by Caesarean section and first went to the doctor after feeling constipated.

Mr Alden added: 'This went on for about four weeks and she went to the hospital where they found a lump.

'They said they thought she had probably had cancer for about two years and it was a metastasis, meaning it had spread to other parts of her body, and at a very advanced stage. We were not aware at the time how serious it was because she was so young.

'She was given a colostomy which was devastating in itself, but she took it on the chin.

'She was put through a course of chemotherapy and then radiotherapy. Because of her young age they could get funding to give her new drugs to extend her life, but nothing worked, and in June she was given just months to live.

'In the end, she had complications with an abscess, and it led to an infection, and that's how she died.'

Miss Alden, who died on September 24, was born in Norwich and attended Sparhawk First and Falcon Middle Schools in Sprowston and then the City of Norwich School.

She left school at 16 and got a job on the till at Morrisons in Norwich, but did not return to work after her children were born.

The funeral was held in St Mary and St Margaret Church in Sprowston yesterday.

Would you like to pay tribute to a loved one in the Evening News? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email