A GRIEVING dad has turned the poignant social media posts he and his wife shared about her cancer battle into a book so their children can read their mother’s story in her own words.

Helga Peeter and Justin Bowen had used Facebook to share Helga’s three year battle with the disease with family before her death, aged 36.

Now, Justin is using the updates to tell their children Bren and Seren, who were five and seven when their mother died, what happened to her.

Justin said: “Helga was such an inspiration. She faced this how she faced everything, with positivity, courage and humour.

“She was determined to live as long as she could and she fought with all her might until the very end.”

In one of the posts on the Facebook page, Helga wrote: “I am merely doing what anyone in my shoes would be doing, and that’s holding out as long as I can for my family and friends. But most of all for my two children who I wouldn’t want to grow up without a mother.”

The pair met when Justin flew to Belgium for work in 2004. By 2007 the pair were married and living together in Droitwich.

But the couple’s world was torn apart when Helga was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 and she died three years later.

Faced with the heartbreak of losing his wife and raising their two children alone, Justin poured his energy into creating a book full of Helga’s inspirational words for his family. He used the posts from the page the couple set up to help Helga’s family keep up with her progress from Belgium.

He said: “As the weeks after Helga’s death went by, the children inevitably had a multitude of questions about their mummy. Why she had to die? Why she got cancer and was she frightened of death?

“I realised that they needed answers and I thought the best way to do it was to print off all the posts Helga and I had shared about our family’s cancer journey on Facebook and put them together in a folder.

“The idea was that one day, if the children wanted to know the whole story, they could read it as it happened.

“As I told friends and family about this little project, some of them asked to have copies when it was done, and it became clear that others might be interested in our story too.

“So the little project became a big project - to turn all of those Facebook posts into a proper, published book. With the help of a family friend, who created the beautiful design for the book, that project has now reached its goal.

“Some 18 months and one pandemic on from when the little project started, Fighting for this Life: Our Cancer Journey has now been published on Amazon.

“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, but also immensely helpful as I build a new life with the children.

“They are so excited about the story of their mummy being published, although we all shed tears together when the proof copy arrived.”

Part of the proceeds from Fighting for this Life: Our Cancer Journey will go to St. Richard’s Hospice as a thank you for the support they gave to Helga and her family.

You can buy a copy here: www.amazon.co.uk/Fighting-this-Life-Cancer-Journey/dp/1916874606/