HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to an inspirational Kidderminster mum who raised funds for charity and ran an uplifting blog while battling cancer for ten years.

Gemma Durbin passed away last month, aged 38.

Mother to 16-year-old Meghan and 13-year-old Joe, Gemma was well known in the community thanks to the Miss Positive Pants page on Facebook, where she kept her followers updated on her journey with the illness.

Her insights proved inspirational, and she gained support from people she had never met.

Ledbury Reporter: Gemma Durbin with her children Joe, 13, and Meghan, 16Gemma Durbin with her children Joe, 13, and Meghan, 16

Gemma's mum Jane Smith said: "She had a tremendous spirit, people were so inspired by the way she dealt with her illness. What an impact she left, if she helped one person she would be happy.

"I felt so proud that I was her mum."

The Miss Positive Pants group was set up on Facebook by Gemma's friends to raise funds after she was in need of a new washing machine and fridge freezer.

A total of £1,000 was also raised by a Stourport Slimming World group to help Gemma with a house deposit earlier this year.

Gemma was initially diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 28 and received treatment for her illness. But doctors found the cancer had spread to her liver, lungs, spine and hips in 2018.

Her family and friends held an emotional farewell for her on May 18, where her friends and supporters lined the route to the service dressed in Positive Pants t-shirts and holding pink ribbons.

Jane said: "It was the most perfect send off. She was the life and soul of any party, fun loving, with an infectious laugh and always wearing her bright pink lipstick.

Ledbury Reporter: Gemma's friends turned out in pink Miss Positive Pants t-shirts to pay their respectsGemma's friends turned out in pink Miss Positive Pants t-shirts to pay their respects

"The celebrant Julie Pember read out lots of tributes revealing funny stories over the years from her school friends and their later teenage years, there was so much laughter from the congregation.

"Gemma's 16-year-old daughter spoke of her love and pride for her mum's courageous fight and Gemma's best friend Naomi read a poem."

Gemma's daughter Meghan has been so inspired by her mum that she wants to train to be an oncologist.

Jane added: "More tributes followed from the Positive Pants Page that was set up for Gemma where she would update her blog of her journey whilst fighting this dreadful disease.

Read more:

"Gemma inspired so many people, some who didn't even get to meet her but followed her story."

Due to the current restrictions on funerals, only 20 people could attend the service, but they followed Gemma's wishes and danced to Abba's 'Dancing Queen' to pay a fitting farewell.

Gemma had requested that any donations be made to the Breast Cancer Care, which has so far raised more than £1,600, along with the sale of Miss Positive Pants merchandise.

Jane also hopes to continue Gemma's work with the Positive Pants Walking Group once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.