Desperate plea from dying mum
9:00am Thu Jan 12, 2017
Terminally ill Gina Kerriage and her autistic son, Jake Bradley. 090117DC1-2
Terminally ill Gina Kerriage and her autistic son, Jake Bradley. 090117DC1-2
A terminally ill woman says her dying wish is to ensure her autistic son can remain in the only family home he has known.
Gina Kerriage, 50, of Elizabeth Road, Newark, was diagnosed with primary breast cancer and lymphnode cancer in November. Two days later she was told she had incurable secondary bone cancer.

She has been told her life expectancy is anything from a month to a year.

“They have told me they can try and control my symptoms but they can’t cure me,” said Gina, who has weekly appointments at Nottingham City Hospital.

“When they told me I was shocked. I couldn’t stop crying.”

She said she had come to terms with what was happening to her and could deal with it.

Her concern is what the future holds for her 17-year-old son, Jake Bradley, who is a pupil at The Orchard School, Newark.

Gina said their house was the only home he had known and was a place where he felt safe and comfortable surrounded by caring friends and neighbours.

“Someone who has autism does not like changes,” she said. “I worry about Jake. He is my number one priority.”

Gina took out a mortgage 18 months ago to buy the former council house.

She said it was bought as security for Jake to ensure he would always have a roof over his head.

A family friend has agreed to be Jake’s guardian and move in with him. Another friend has agreed to help look after his finances.

Gina now needs to raise £50,000 to pay off the mortgage and meet legal fees before she dies.

Shops and cafés in Newark have taken collection tins to help and friends and family have suggested fundraising ideas such as sponsored skydives.

'I have always dedicated my life to my children'

Gina needs to raise the money as quickly as possible and has set up a GoFundme page online in the hope the public and businesses will help.

“I can’t help worrying. I can’t rest at night and I can’t sleep,” she said.

“I have always dedicated my life to my children but now I feel time is running out and I am desperate for people to help me.”

Gina said she feared the worst if Jake was not able to stay in his home and had to go into supported housing.

“He only feels comfortable in his own environment and is not good with strangers,” she said.

“He is well-liked and very well-mannered and I feel that if he was put in supported housing it would change his personality.”

Gina has two daughters, Dominique Kerriage, 27, of Grange Road, Newark, who has two young children, and Sherita Bradley, 18, who is studying media art at university.

Neither is in a position to take on the mortgage.

Gina said she would be grateful to anyone who was able to help ensure Jake did not lose his home as well as his mother.

“It is my dying wish to be able to do this one last thing for my son,” she said.

Donations can be made at Georgina's GoFundme page.

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