A Suffolk mum has died just one month after being diagnosed with cancer, leaving nine children.

Shocked family and friends of Wickham Market resident Maxine Skeet are rallying to help her children following her sudden death last week aged 40.

A page has been set up on the fundraising website GoFundMe aiming to raise £10,000 to cover her funeral costs, as well as providing for the children's education and driving lessons.

Maxine's friend Claire Chapman, who set up the fundraising page, said she 'lived for her children'.

She added: "She kept herself to herself and she brought her children up. She was a very private person and she adored her children."

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The children are aged between six and 20 years and are being cared for by the older siblings with support from their family.

Maxine had initially visited the doctors with severe stomach pain in February, but when she subsequently went to A&E in severe pain, she was found to have ovarian cancer which had spread to her liver.

The day before her death, she had gone to stay at St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.

She added: "I think it is a shock. Everyone just did not expect it to happen so suddenly. She had only gone in to the hospice the day before and then she died the following day."

The friends used to meet regularly for a meal and a drink, while Maxine was also a regular visitor to her local church.

Claire said Maxine had been living in Wickham Market for as long as she had known her.

"She was a very well-loved person and she would never had a bad word to say about anyone," Claire added.

READ MORE: Suffolk news