A Darlington father has described his shock after his daughter was diagnosed with terminal cancer at just 31 years of age.

Paul Williams, 55, lead vocalist for the Darlington band, The Skapones, has been left in a state of disbelief after his daughter, Zoey broke the news to him just five weeks ago.

The mother-of-one, who has since had to give up her job as a bar worker, has been told her stage four cervical cancer is inoperable and sadly terminal.

Read more: The Darlington woman who's still full of life despite inoperable cancer

Last night, Mr Williams described his heartbreak as he made a desperate plea to women across the North East and the UK to get screened for cervical cancer.

The Northern Echo: Paul WilliamsPaul Williams (Image: Paul Williams)

Meanwhile, he said he had been left "gobsmacked" by the sheer outpouring of support as thousands have since been raised to support her ongoing care - and her first holiday abroad.

Describing the impact of Zoey's diagnosis on the family, Mr Williams said: “Everybody around her is all a bit shell-shocked not knowing what to do, we all feel a bit helpless because there’s not a lot you can do.

Read more: ‘Closure’ for Paul Urey’s family as fundraiser to bring body home exceeds £8,000

“When you open your eyes in the morning, everything’s fine for five minutes, then it hits you in the face again.

“I’m trying to learn from her, it’s hard but I’m trying to learn from her. She’s been a star, she really has.

“One minute it’s fine, you’re laughing, you’re joking, but the next minute, if your mind goes blank, it hits you like a brick.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am, because there aren't enough words to be honest."

Zoey believed she had undergone a cervical cancer screening just years before at the age of 27, however, it turns out this did not happen.

As a result, Mr Williams urged people to make sure they attend their cervical cancer screenings and to do it for themselves, their friends and families.

He said: “You’ve only got one life haven’t you, it’s a precious thing. You owe it to yourself to look after yourself.”

The Northern Echo: Paul WilliamsPaul Williams (Image: Paul Williams)


Ms Williams has been given a kidney drain, undergone blood transfusions and radiotherapy.

To help prolong her life and make her as comfortable as possible, she will also have three rounds of chemotherapy over a nine-week period.

As a result of this, Mr Williams hopes a GoFundMe page, which he set up with a target amount of £1,000, will help her with her current bills amid the cost of living crisis.

Meanwhile, funds are also set to be spent on a mobility scooter, comfortable chairs, heated blankets, hospital trips not funded by the NHS and medical bills.

As of Tuesday afternoon, this amount stood at £6,490.

The Northern Echo: Paul WilliamsPaul Williams (Image: Paul Williams)

Mr Williams thanked those who had raised the vital funds and said he is planning to hold two concerts to raise money for his daughter with his band The Skapones, and will be playing gigs in Redcar and potentially Darlington.

The nights will also include performances by The Rough Kutz and other support acts, and will be taking place in O’Grady’s Hotel in Redcar on Friday, 21 October.

Mr Williams added: “The way people have rallied, and the amount of money people have donated, everyone’s having to cut back and the generosity of people [has been] just absolutely amazing.

“She’s absolutely gobsmacked by what’s gone on, she’s like I can’t believe people are doing that for me, these people don’t even know me."

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