A Burlesque singer who appeared on BBC’s The Voice has been left overwhelmed by support following the death of her step-mum.
And now Pendle performer Kiki De Ville is thanking everybody who has made a donation to fly her out to Australia in time for the funeral of Zandra Whitehead (56), who she calls mum.
Kiki, who shot to fame on Team will.i.am this year, was given £1,500 in just 16 hours after her friend and local photographer Donna Craddock, from Trawden, set up a GoFundMe page.
Kiki (40), from Earby, said: “Even though mum had been sick for a while, it did come as a bit of a shock. You just can’t prepare yourself for that kind of thing.
“I would have gone over to Australia, but it was going to be difficult financially.
“I have been really overwhelmed, as you just don’t expect people to do that for you.
“For my dad to see how much people here care for me has really helped him. I just can’t put into words how grateful I am.
“Donna is a photographer for Click Click Bang Photography, and she gave away some of her services if people donated a certain amount. She is amazing.”
Elvis Presley fan Zandra, who lived with Kiki’s dad Russell in Melbourne, died after years of problems with her kidney.
She had had a transplant, which lasted for 25 years, but around five years ago her kidney failed - and she was left on a transplant waiting list, while undergoing aggressive treatments, like dialysis.
Kiki, who has been performing at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, added: “She was a great influence on me and was incredibly supportive.
“She introduced me to Hollywood, and Marilyn Monroe, and she was absolutely bursting with pride.
“She was just the most positive person I have known - she never complained about her illness, and she just loved life. She made my dad into the man that he is, and she was just incredibly strong and independent - all the things I admire in women.”
Zandra’s funeral will take place on August 13th.
Kiki will make the 26-hour trip to Melbourne on Sunday, to spend the next two weeks with her family.