Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

Mum dies of cancer soon after birth of baby boy

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Charlie Nicholson, 38, died two-and-a-half months after she was diagnosed with melanoma.
Charlie Nicholson, 38, died two-and-a-half months after she was diagnosed with melanoma.

A courageous mother who wed and gave birth after a bleak cancer diagnosis has died.

Gisborne woman Charlie Nicholson, 38, died at Tauranga's Waipuna Hospice on Sunday night, two-and-a-half months after she was diagnosed with melanoma at 31-weeks of pregnancy.

Less than a week after her diagnosis - which showed the cancer had spread to multiple organs and her brain - she married her partner Shawn Elsmore at the Auckland Hospital chapel.

A week after that she delivered their healthy baby boy, Ryder "Dangermouse" Elsmore.

Support for the family flooded in, raising close to $20,000 through Givealittle, and allowing them to travel to Melbourne to seek urgent treatment for Mrs Nicholson at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

The treatment did not deter the progression of the disease and the couple returned to New Zealand - and their new-born son - and settled into the Tauranga hospice.

Ms Nicholson came to Tauranga because her newborn son, Ryder, was transferred to Tauranga Hospital from Auckland where he was born.

Ms Nicholson's sister Ariane Adlington lives in Tauranga as does another close family friend who helped care for Ryder while his parents were in Melbourne.

Last week, New Zealand band Fat Freddy's Drop performed via Skype for Mrs Nicholson, who was a huge fan of the dub/reggae group.

A post on Facebook page Charlie's Angels, broke the devastating news.

"Charlie Richelle Loise Nicholson passed away peacefully late last night surrounded by her husband, family and friends," wrote a family spokeswoman.

"On behalf of Charlie, Shawn and our family we would like to thank everyone for their love, support and help through these past few months.

"Funeral arrangements for Gisborne are being made and once I have more information I will let everyone know. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts to you all."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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