Two Sussex women who experienced the tragedy of losing a parent to cancer are raising money to help others fight the illness.

Ellen Burgess and Laura Ridley, both dated 31, were brought together after conversing on Facebook.

Laura and Ellen

Laura and Ellen

They are now best friends and reside in exactly the identical block of apartments in Burgess Hill.

Mum-of-one Ellen, a full-time cleaner, started chatting to Laura if she started selling contributed unwanted items on Facebook to raise money for the cancer ward in the Princess Royal Hospital.

That is when Laura decided to jump aboard and help.

The pair have been able to raise #2,610.40 so far for the Sussex Cancer Fund, who work with the NHS to make new and improved facilities for hospitals at Sussex.

We were not able to assist our parents so it is great to help other men and women.

Laura Ridley

Ellen’s father, Chris Burgess lost his struggle to lung cancer 2009 at elderly 51.

She said: “He lost his voice had a really bad cough. He’d tests and found out that he had lung cancer.

“It was a really challenging time for all of us. I was really near my father.

“If he died, I assured the ward I would fundraise to them, but that I was in such a terrible spot at the time — I’m in a better place now.

“The hospital has a wish list and we have been able to buy a chemo chair, two chemo stools and five heating pads to get them so far.

“It feels amazing to have had such a response, I didn’t think so a lot of folks would come forward to help.”

Laura, a full-time carer for her spouse, who’s registered blind, dropped her mother Angela Ridley, aged 51, to bone cancer during November last year.

She was also enrolled blind after being born with albinism.

“The individuals who looked after my mum had been amazing,” said Laura.

“Cancer affects so many people and I think that has struck a chord with most people.

“We were not able to assist our parents so it is great to help other individuals.

“We thank everyone for donating, we couldn’t have done it without them. We want to give others a opportunity.”

The couple said they’re going to ‘keep moving’ with raising money.

“Everyone grieves in different ways, but something in this way gives you a purpose,” said Ellen.

“We don’t get overly irritable, but we learn how to live with it. The nurses went above and beyond with my father.”

Laura added: “We’ve got kept eachother moving — we still have the ability to calm each other down.”

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