Tributes have been paid to a popular mum who has lost her brave battle with cancer just days after seeing her son marry his childhood sweetheart.
Jayne Woodhouse’s fight against the disease which last night claimed her life touched the hearts of hundreds of Wearsiders.
In her final days, the 46-year-old of Red House fulfilled her dying wish of seeing her only child, Ryan Gregory, 24, marry his partner Mel McGrory, 21 at a touching ceremony on Saturday.
It came just weeks after the mum renewed her wedding vows to husband David, 41, known as Woody, which was top of her bucket list.
She was given the shock diagnosis she had terminal lung cancer in January and, despite the devastating blow, selflessly threw herself into raising awareness and funds to help other Sunderland patients.
Speaking to the Echo a month ago, she remained positive and praised staff at St Benedict’s Hospice in Ryhope who’d been helping her to manage her pain.
She was keen to share her story in the hope she could inspire others who face cancer.
The key account manager for energy firm UtilityWise told us: “I feel privileged that I’ve been able to set things in place and do things I want to do. I could come home and lock myself away and cry, but I want to be positive. I’m not scared of dying, I feel a weird calmness. I call my close friends ‘my angels’ and I have my angels looking over me.”
She set up a public “Jayne’s Journey” Facebook page to keep people informed of fund-raising activities, as well as when she ticked off her bucket list wishes, such as seeing the pandas at Edinburgh zoo.
Her close-knit friends and family, as well as people who’ve followed her journey online, have posted their tributes to the mum whose determination in the face of adversity touched and inspired so many.
Dionne Evans wrote: “So so sad to be reading this what a truly inspirational lady!”
Lisa Seferi said: “Sincere condolences to you and your family. I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Jayne but followed her battle and, with so many mutual close friends, I felt like I knew her. What an amazing strong lady... the world can be so cruel”
Julie Mcdowell said: “Much love to you and your family. She may be gone to the stars above but she will leave her imprint on everyone’s heart. Wonderful courageous woman, privileged to know such a wonderful girl and her fantastic family.”
Kirk Wilson said: “Life is so cruel but the way Jayne held her head up high is an inspiration to us all! So glad I got to meet and work with you.”
Michelle Charlesworth said: “Rest in peace Jayne, you were brave and inspirational, I never knew you personally but followed your updates and I am in awe of the way you dealt with your illness. I’m so glad you got to see your son get married! Heartfelt condolences to your family.”
Other than back pain, Jayne was fit and healthy and was looking forward to returning to work after the Christmas holidays following a promotion. But a scan linked to her back problems revealed a shadow on her right lung.
Further tests revealed the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, liver and spine and doctors broke the news that it was too far advanced to cure.
Jayne’s friends and family were left as stunned as her and set up a Smiles4Jayne Go Fund Me campaign which raised more than £5,000 in just three days. Today that total stands at £7,675.
She felt passionate about supporting charities in her home city including St Benedict’s, Sunderland Cancer Patient Support, which is the dedicated charity of the Royal Hospital’s Macmillan department, and the Hug in a Bag charity, which gives out bags of gifts and vouchers to women with breast cancer in a bid to brighten their day.
Her bravery inspired others to fundraise too, with friends taking part in the recent Race For Life in Herrington Country Park in Jayne’s name.
•To donate to Smiles4Jayne visit www.gofundme.com/smiles4jayne