Twins' mother dies of cancer

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A MOTHER whose 10-year-old twins advertised for a new family when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer has died.

Tobi Mills, 43, from Oxford, died on Tuesday, knowing her son and daughter were safe with a new family, Oxfordshire County Council said yesterday.

Lauren and Ashton Mills made a heart-rending plea for a replacement mother last February with the blessing of the council's family placement service. The advertisement, which the children wrote themselves and which provoked more than 200 enquiries, read: "Kids and dogs for hire. Life-term contract. Sad gits need not apply."

Mary Robertson, head of Oxfordshire social services, said the story had touched the hearts of many people. She wanted to assure people that the twins were doing well "in the circumstances".

"Losing a mother at such a young age is a devastating event, and the twins will need a lot of support and understanding as they come to terms with their mother's death," she said.

She gave no details of the new family and asked that their privacy be respected. "I would like to extend my sincere sympathy to Lauren and Ashton."

After the twins placed their advertisement, Ms Mills wrote to the respondents asking for the children to be given the best opportunities. "When my time comes, I want you to tell Lauren and Ashton that I am sorry I had to leave them," she added. "It is the hardest thing I am ever going to have to do."

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