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Cancer photo couple: Son tells of impact of parents' death

Julie and Mike Bennet in hospital holding hands Image copyright Family handout
Image caption This image of Mike and Julie Bennet's last moments together was released by their children last month

The son of a couple who died of cancer within days of each other has told of how he feared his 13-year-old brother would be taken into care.

An image of Mike and Julie Bennet during their last moments together was released by their children last month.

The family's tragic story prompted a flood of donations to an appeal for the three siblings, Luke, 21, Hannah, 18, and 13-year-old Oliver.

Luke told This Morning he had now been granted joint guardianship of Oliver.

The student explained to the ITV1 show that he and his sister had not really considered the financial issues at first as they were primarily concerned about keeping their family together.

He said: "Obviously, it become kind of complicated... making sure we would be able to keep him (Oliver). Whether he would have go into care with someone else or whether we could all stay together.

"In terms of financial and practical stuff it didn't really occur to us that much until all the charity stuff kicked off."

Image copyright ITV
Image caption Luke Bennet speaking on This Morning
Image copyright Bennet family
Image caption The Bennet family in happier times

Luke has now been granted guardianship of Oliver along with a long-time family friend called Suzie.

The student paid tribute to the friends and well-wishers who had donated money he said would provide the family with financial security - more than £275,000 has been raised so far.

"Thank you to everyone who has given in any way possible.... just thank you so much," he said.

The Bennets, from Irby in Wirral, plan to give some of the money to charity.

Family friend Heather Heaton Gallagher previously said the siblings were being supported by aunts and uncles and the money would be used to help them through college and university.

Mr Bennet died on 6 February in Arrowe Park Hospital.

Mrs Bennet, a primary school teacher at Sommerville School, was then moved to St John's Hospice where she died five days later.

Image copyright Bennet family
Image caption The couple were described as "very loving, very solid together and entwined"

She was diagnosed in May last year with cancer which began in the liver and kidneys and then spread to other organs.

Her husband, a self-employed cabinet maker, had been fighting a brain tumour since 2013 and had been nursed at home by Mrs Bennet and his children until his wife became too ill to care for him.

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