A great-grandmother who was given just months to live has spent two years knitting an impressive five-foot replica ocean liner, saying: “Don’t give up living just because you are dying”.
Eva Jay, 88, who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2015, used more than 100 balls of wool and knitted for up to six hours a day to create the intricately-detailed cruise liner whose front comes down to reveal a ballroom, bedroom and bathroom.
She now wants to donate her creation to charity.
Eva, from Clacton, Essex, said: “I’m pleased, satisfied but there’s no pride attached to it. I’m just happy to do it and hoping it does some good somewhere, that’s what I want.
“It was a great achievement – I didn’t think I would die because I have a lot of things to live for and now I’ve made a doll’s house and I’m making cubes so I’ve lots to look forward to. Don’t give up living just because you are dying – that’s my motto.”
The replica liner is about 5ft long and 2ft high. Its front comes down to reveal a ballroom complete with mirrored walls, a stage, glitter ball and a grand piano while the back opens out to reveal the bedroom, complete with furniture and bathroom. And on the top deck there is a hot tub with Barbie doll sun loungers.
Eva, who has lived on her own since her husband of 60 years died in 2008, has also made a miniature camper van which she donated to St Helena Hospice as well as woollen furniture and numbered cubes.
Her daughter Claire Pierce, 57, said Eva had sewn her siblings’ clothes when they were children and added: “All of our lives mum has made things. We were brought up with her sewing or knitting or creating something.
“When she was diagnosed in December 2015 I made her a list of reasons to live and the second one on the list was, ‘you haven’t finished the liner’ – she actually finished the liner whilst she was being sick, she came to terms that she’s got cancer.
“She is the most amazing lady ever, if I grow up to be half the lady she is I will be happy.”
The family get support from the Macmillan carers service. Claire added: “She really wants someone to get some pleasure out of it and if possible would love some money to be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support to help others living with cancer.”
Anyone wanting to give Eva’s liner a home can contact Inez Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org.