Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

Charlie Nicholson loses cancer battle

Gisborne woman Charlie Nicholson, 38, died two-and-a-half months after she was diagnosed with melanoma. Photo / Supplied
Gisborne woman Charlie Nicholson, 38, died two-and-a-half months after she was diagnosed with melanoma. Photo / Supplied

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

Gisborne woman Charlie Nicholson, 38, died at the Waipuna Hospice 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.

Sadly, the treatment did not deter the progression of the deadly disease and the couple returned to New Zealand - and their new-born son - and settled into the Bay of Plenty Hospice.

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 a Facebook page set up to keep the family's support network abreast of their journey, Charlie's Angels, broke the devastating news this afternoon.

"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."

Friends and family had quickly taken to the forum to express their condolences and remark on Mrs Nicholson's bravery and positive attitude throughout the ordeal.

"Hand on heart she was one of my most gorgeous women ever and was destined to be such a fabulous mummy to Ryder," said one person the Herald has chosen not to name.

"I so enjoyed getting to know Charlie - she was so, so, so happy. I'm so glad I got to see you Charlie with your gorgeous Ryder in Auckland."

- NZ Herald

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