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Tragedy for young boys who lost both parents to cancer

CANCER BATTLES: Omena and Makeda Ubairo

FIVE CHILDREN have been left orphaned after their mother and father both tragically died of the same illness.

Omena and Makeda Ubairo, the parents of five children have both died in just over a month apart of each other, after separate battles with colorectal cancer.

Omena 38, was first diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer for two years when wife Makeda was diagnosed with the disease last August. Makeda, also 38, underwent emergency surgery but could not be saved by doctors and sadly died on July 29.

Omena tragically lost his battle on the morning of September the 4, the day before his wife’s funeral was due to take place. The couple will now be buried together in a joint funeral.

According to The Daily Mail, family friend Charles Busari posted on the gofundme page, “It breaks my heart to report that sadly our dear brother Omena has lost his fight to cancer in the early hours of Monday 4th September 2017.”

The death of his wife during Omena's own battle with cancer, highlighted fears for the couple's five sons, aged between seven and 19, as friends launched a fundraising page to support the family through this difficult time.

As part of the appeal, Omena had said the death of his beloved wife and on going fight against cancer was the "toughest thing" he had ever dealt with. Omena and Makeda met when they were teenagers at St Francis Xavier College in Clapham, South London. They married in 2004 and moved to Birmingham in 2009.

In 2014, the couple decided to renew their wedding vows when Omena was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer. Omena who was a Christian, said his faith had helped him through his battle with the disease and stated that his illness had brought him closer to God.

“I’ve learnt to appreciate life. Life is a gift from God and what we do with that life is our gift back to God and humanity as well. This whole ordeal has brought me closer to God, it has taught me to appreciate life.

“To be able to walk; there were months when I couldn’t walk, to be able to just play with my children and to take them out. I enjoy those simple things that we take for granted.”

Omena has openly discussed his battle with bowel cancer through a series of YouTube videos in which he said he believed his faith would help him overcome the disease, however friends said Makeda kept her battle private.

Close friend Eudora Benn-Short, who described Makeda as a "sister", paid tribute to the "warm and caring" mum. She said: "Makeda was an angel in her own right. “She was warm, caring, honest and would be there for everybody. I used to tell her there was no one else like her. She gave so much to everyone. What hurts the most is that she has left behind five boys."

So far, more than £27,000 has been raised on the gofundme page. In an emotional video filmed from a hospice in Wolverhampton, where Omena passed away and had been receiving 24-hour care, the grieving dad appeared gaunt whilst hooked up to machines from his bed.

Before he passed Omena said: "I just want to say thank you so much to everybody that has been supporting myself and my family.

If you would like to help support the family, donations can be made thorough their gofundme page at www.gofundme.com/support-omena-ubiaro-and-family

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