Appeal to grant sisters' final wish

IT’S called 'sister’s promise' and has one simple aim – to fund enough money for former Newport woman Kerry Conway and her three children to travel from New Zealand to visit her terminally ill sister in the UK for one last precious time.

Kathleen De Brito, 46, who was also born in Newport, suffers from genetic disease cystic fibrosis and has spent all her life bravely battling the condition.

But recently, her and her family have been told the devastating news that she only has 12 to 18 months of her life left.

For Mrs De Brito's sister Mrs Conway, who moved to New Zealand 17 years ago, this meant only one thing - she needed to plan a number of visits to her sister, who now lives near London, to spend some precious moments together and create some final memories.

Also included in Mrs Conway’s wish was to bring her seven-year-old daughter Llara Sian with her. The last time Mrs De Brito saw Llara was as a baby and the youngster has no memory of her auntie.

But with three children to bring up, Mrs Conway has been unable to afford the travel costs.

This led to her going to Air New Zealand fairy, a promotion carried out by the national airline which grants wishes.

But it was to be an old school friend of hers, Allan Mills who would spot the wish and take it on.

Through a Facebook page he had set up called 'Bettws past and present', Mr Mills, of Wattsville, launched the appeal ‘Sister’s Promise’ which aims to raise enough money for Mrs Conway and Llara Sian to fly to the UK along with Mrs Conway's two other children Seren, 10 and Morgen, eight.

The plight has attracted offers of donations and fundraisers and the appeal aims to raise around £3,000 to £4,000 to help see the family’s dream come true.

Born in Newport, the sisters both remained close as they grew up in Bettws, later living in London together until Mrs Conway moved out to New Zealand.

The sisters have remained in touch over the years with Mrs Conway making a number of visits to her sister before.

But recent years have seen Mrs De Brito affected more by her health. She has spent large amounts of time in hospital suffering from a number of conditions and her lung function has now fallen to 20 per cent.

Specialist clinicians have informed her that because of her rate of bone fractures she is not a suitable candidate for lung transplantation.

Mrs De Brito, who worked as a senior manager for the Hilton group, had to give up work a year ago and is now on permanent oxygen and in a wheelchair as she is unable to walk without getting very short of breath.

Mrs Conway said: “Im not used to asking other people for help, but at times like this, pride has to be put aside for the bigger goal.

“The people on the Facebook site have been amazing, and I am overwhelmed by their outpouring of compassion and their keenness to help a pair of sisters who grew up and lived in Bettws at this difficult time.”

To donate to making the dream come true, visit https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/cc9D4?psid=41b2727450014a61804bcaee881e0599&fb_ref=share__a21yw1

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