THE heartbroken sister of a Renfrew woman who has lost her brave battle against a brain tumour has vowed to honour her memory by helping others.

Katie Sanderson said there are no words to describe the devastation of losing her 38-year-old sister Leighanne, who died earlier this month.

With the help of the Renfrewshire public, Katie managed to raise £90,000 to get Leighanne specialist treatment in Germany which was not available on the NHS, after care she received in the UK had failed to reduce the size of the tumour.

Leighanne, who was mum to 15-year-old Kieran, made it to Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic, in Dornstetten, but her condition deteriorated after she contracted shingles and her immune system could no longer cope.

She died at her home in Renfrew surrounded by her family, including Kieran, Katie and mum Josephine.

Now Katie is determined to continue fundraising for other people in Leighanne's position, possibly by creating a charity in her name.

"I know I want to do something to help other people but I'm just not quite sure how I'm going to do it yet," said Katie. "I want to have a look at how I can fundraise or set up a charity to help people in Leighanne's position.

"There are so many people you hear about dealing with cancer or a brain tumour, so I would love to do something – and I know Leighanne would be proud of me for doing that."

Leighanne was told she had the brain tumour in January last year and underwent treatment at the Beatson cancer centre in Glasgow.

However, this was unsuccessful and, at the start of this year, she was told she had just months to live.

But Katie stopped at nothing to try and save her sister's life, even though the treatment in Germany required a payment of £72,000 up front.

The small amount of money left over from the fundraising went towards Leighanne's funeral, which took place last Friday.

All Katie wants now is for people to remember Leighanne for the fun-loving person she was.

"Things in Germany were going amazing. Leighanne was feeding herself and walking herself but she got singles before we went and she got it again after treatment. It just floored her.

"But she lived for 18 months. That's a long time for someone to live with a brain tumour. She had a good year and a half and I helped her create lots of memories.

"I don't think there are any words to describe how I'm feeling and how my mum is feeling. It must be the hardest thing in the world for my mum having to say goodbye to your own child.

"We haven't had much time to grieve, we don't really feel like it's happened yet. We're just trying to be strong for Kieran, who is being very strong himself.

"Leighanne was a fun-loving, outgoing person who put up a good fight. She didn't have any pain relief until the end really. She didn't take life too seriously and was laughing and smiling until the end. That's how we'll remember her and how I hope others will too."