The husband of a woman who died after battling a rare form of cancer is raising money to fund a PhD into its cause.

Sharon Dunster, from Great Bandow, was diagnosed with mucosal melanoma in November 2015 and sadly passed away the following November. Her husband, Steve has now vowed to find a cure for the awful disease.

To do so, Steve needs to raise £88,108 to fund a young doctor’s PhD, a three-year study into the disease. The NHS does not fund research into this particular form of cancer.

The family have had a benefactor come forward offering to match the money they raise pound for pound, which means they are campaigning to raise £45,000.

Steve said: “It’s a year gone by now, the most important thing is to try and raise this money, we’re on our own now. She would have wanted this.”

A total of £5,000 was initially raised by the 250 attendees at Sharon’s funeral, which Sharon’s consultant at Broomfield hospital, Dr Tim Crook, has matched.

He said: “We are confident the technology combined with the clinical and pathological expertise at Broomfield hospital and our collaborating institutions, Imperial College London and St Luke’s cancer centre, Guildford will generate numerous insights into the disease.”

The first of many events held by Steve and his family and the Great Baddow East Neighbourhood Association was a charity horse racing night. They managed to raise £809 of their target.

Steve is currently in the midst of planning a number of other events, including a charity boxing match in February at Stock Brook Manor, a spring ball and a car show next summer.

Cars were something both Steve and Sharon shared a passion for. Years prior to Sharon’s diagnosis, Steve had a number of heart attacks and as an incentive for the pair they decided that when he was discharged from hospital they would buy a TVR, which they later did.

While Sharon was in hospital the pair made a similar pact. Steve said: “When we first got together we have some money saved a considered buying a Mustang, but we ended up buying a house.

“When Sharon was ill we said wouldn’t that be nice, and we decided that when she got the all clear we would buy one. Unfortunately she didn’t make it, but I done it for us anyway.”

Sharon and Steve ran an engineering company in Baddow for over 40 years and had decided to retire a month before Sharon was diagnosed.

She spent 34 days in Ipswich Hospital and after many complications was told she had the all-clear. The couple spent a couple of months getting used to their new lives before they were struck with the bad news that the cancer had returned. After surgery and chemotherapy, the cancer became very aggressive and took Sharon’s life.

Broomfield Hospital has been granted permission to use the tissue donations of other patients killed by the cancer for their research.

Steve would like any families that have been affected by the disease to get in touch. He said: “It’s almost like a plea from me to everybody out there. It would be great if we could join forces to get the research going.”

You can reach him by email at