Mother-of-one died from an ‘incurable’ cancer so rare that even some nurses treating her had never heard of it, husband says

  • Lesley Turner, 40, died in July 2022 after developing rare cancer angiosarcoma
  • She was diagnosed in November 2021 after discovering a lump in her breast
  • Angiosarcoma is an extremely rare cancer affecting around one in a million 

A mother died from an ‘incurable’ cancer so rare that even some nurses treating her had never heard of it, according to her husband.

Lesley Turner, 40, died in July last year after fighting against angiosarcoma. 

She was diagnosed in November 2021 after discovering a lump in her breast, and she and her husband Rob were told her conditions could not be cured.

The mother-of-one discovered how rare angiosarcoma is after seeing that some nurses treating her at Northern General and Weston Park hospitals in Sheffield had never heard of it, her bereaved husband said.

Ms Turner, originally from Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway, asked doctors not to let her know how much time she had left, reported Yorkshire Live

Mother Lesley Turner has died from a type of cancer so rare that even some nurses treating her had not heard of it. She passed away in July last year after being diagnosed with angiosarcoma

Mother Lesley Turner has died from a type of cancer so rare that even some nurses treating her had not heard of it. She passed away in July last year after being diagnosed with angiosarcoma

Ms Turner and her husband Rob (right), parents to eight-year-old Liam (centre), discovered how rare angiosarcoma is after finding out some nurses treating her had never heard of it

Ms Turner and her husband Rob (right), parents to eight-year-old Liam (centre), discovered how rare angiosarcoma is after finding out some nurses treating her had never heard of it

Speaking to the publication, Rob, 41, said: ‘We knew pretty quickly that it was serious.’ 

He added: ‘She had chemotherapy for about four months but she always had a smile on her face and said ”if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry” – so we tried to just get on with it.’

Rob has revealed his wish to honour his wife’s memory through fundraising.  

Ms Turner spent the last five days of her life at St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffiled, and made Rob promise that any money raised would go to the palliative care centre. 

Rob said that Ms Turner's death has been 'tough' on their son Liam, adding that card-making at school before Mother's Day was particularly difficult

Rob said that Ms Turner’s death has been ‘tough’ on their son Liam, adding that card-making at school before Mother’s Day was particularly difficult

The couple met in Glasgow in 2007 when Rob was fitting out an Iceland store - of which Ms Turner was the manager - and later had their son Liam who is now eight

The couple met in Glasgow in 2007 when Rob was fitting out an Iceland store – of which Ms Turner was the manager – and later had their son Liam who is now eight

Angiosarcoma

What is angiosarcoma?

Angiosarcoma is a rare cancer which develops in the inner lining of blood vessels and lymph vessels.  

The cancer can occur anywhere in the body but most often develops in the skin, breast, liver and spleen. 

How common is it?

One in a million. For every million people, one will be diagnosed with angiosarcoma per year in the U.S. Angiosarcomas make up about 1% to 2% of all sarcomas. 

How is it diagnosed? 

Angiosarcomas usually look like a bruised, purple area on the skin. These areas may bleed easily when they are scratched or bumped. 

They grow bigger over time and the skin around the bruised area can swell. 

Source: National Cancer Institute (NCI) 

Speaking of the hospice, Rob said: ‘They took really good care – not only of Lesley but all the visitors including me.’

The couple met in Glasgow in 2007 when Rob was fitting out an Iceland store – of which Ms Turner was the manager – and they later had their son Liam who is now eight. 

Rob left Ms Turner an Easter egg with a note attached before he went back to Sheffield, and they began a relationship after visiting each other for a year. 

Ms Turner moved to Sheffield, and the couple eventually bought their first home together. 

They were married on June 14, 2014 at Stannington Church.  

‘She was kind. She only found the fun side of things – she was just fun and brilliant to be around,’ said Rob. 

He also spoke of how Ms Turner’s death was ‘tough’ on their son Liam, but said ‘he has lots of friends at school helping him and a loving family around him’. 

The father added that card-making at school before Mother’s Day was particularly difficult for Liam, with grandparents offering him help and support.      

Fulfilling Ms Turner’s wishes, Rob has now raised nearly £4,500 for St Luke’s Hospice with a GoFundMe campaign, exceeding his original goal of £3,500.

The father has also organised a golf tournament at Hillsborough Golf Club in the city on May 12 – an event he hopes will raise £10,000 for the charity. 

You can donate to Rob and Ms Turner’s gofundme page by clicking here.  



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