Incredible act for young sisters after their parents die just days apart

Nigel Joyce lost his battle with a brain tumour on May 31. Six days later, his wife Marjan died.

Marjan Joyce with her husband Nigel and their two young daughters before they were diagnosed with cancer.
Nigel Joyce lost his battle with a brain tumour on May 31. Six days later, his wife Marjan died, tragically leaving behind their two 'wonderful' daughters. Source: Givealittle

Loved ones and community members have rallied around two young sisters after their mum and dad died from cancer in the same week. More than $200,000 has been raised for the siblings, aged eight and four, who along with their parents Nigel and Marjan Joyce, from New Zealand, have “faced incredibly tough times over the past two years”.

Nigel lost his battle with a brain tumour on May 31 with his sister by his side, family friend Angela Hawkins wrote on a Givealittle fundraising page she created. Shortly after her husband’s tragic diagnosis, Marian was told she had triple-negative breast cancer.

“Tragically, Marjan began experiencing vision loss and seizures three weeks ago,” Angela said, adding tests revealed the cancer had spread through her brain. Sadly, the mum died in hospice care on Thursday — just six days after Nigel.

“She and Nigel will now shine bright together, one big, sparkly star,” Angela wrote. “They have left behind two wonderful children, in whom we can see their shining spirit.”

Marjan Joyce smiling at a table after her cancer diagnosis.
Before she passed, Marjan was brought to tears by the large number of donations for her children. Source: Givealittle

Tributes are now flowing for the couple. Nigel has been remembered for his “kind and gentle soul”, while Marjan has been described as a “truly remarkable person who left a lasting impact on those around her”.

Before her passing, Angela said she was able to share with Marjan “the overwhelming response of donations”.

“She was moved to tears. She brought her head to her hands in disbelief and mentioned there are many others in need of support, but her tears of happiness shone through in this moment,” she said.

Every single dollar will go toward supporting the young girls “on their new path”.

“Your contributions help keep the memory of their parents alive and aid the girls in thriving and growing in their new normal, surrounded by a caring and amazingly supportive family,” Angela wrote.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.