Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 14:13 UK

Blind and disabled Kent author loses cancer fight

Nicole Dryburgh
Nicole Dryburgh wrote two books and raised more than 110,00 for charity

A blind and disabled woman who wrote two books and raised thousands of pounds for charity during her 10-year battle with cancer has died.

Nicole Dryburgh, 21, from Whitstable in Kent, was diagnosed with a spinal tumour at the age 11.

Over the past few years she raised £74,000 for the Royal Marsden Hospital in south London and £43,000 for King's College Hospital, south-east London.

Ms Dryburgh died of a brain haemorrhage on Sunday.

She lost her sight at the age of 13 after having a brain haemorrhage as a result of cancer. She then lost the use of her legs.

'Inspired many'

Her mother Jackie and brother Lee, added: "Right up until Saturday, Nicole was happy and her usual upbeat self, planning her next fundraising event.

"We are so proud of everything she achieved and the legacy she leaves.

"Nicole loved the glitz and adored the people she met along the way. Nicole's website and Justgiving page will remain open, true to her spirit."

A spokeswoman for her family added: "Nicole's extraordinary battle through cancer, losing the use of her legs, her hearing and her sight was fought with grace and humour and at her 21st birthday in February 2010 she celebrated three years in remission.

"Nicole's wit, enthusiasm for life and drive to change the lives of young people with cancer inspired many."

During her three-year period in remission she wrote two books, The Way I See It and Talk to the Hand, and received both the Diana Award and the inaugural Anne Frank/Miep Gies award.

The Nicole's Sweet paediatric neuro-rehabilitation unit on Lion Ward at King's College Hospital, is named after Ms Dryburgh.

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