COURAGEOUS Tracey Toop fought for her independence until the final days of her battle with ovarian cancer, which she lost on May 14.
Tracey, of Windbrook Meadow in Stratton, was 45 when she died at home following two years of fundraising for Target Ovarian Cancer, the national ovarian cancer charity.
Her husband of 15 years, Peter, 47, has paid tribute to the life she led and her unfailing desire to battle the cancer and its debilitating symptoms.
“The worst thing about the disease was the fact it was taking away her independence and she really hated that,” he said.
“She’d been in a wheelchair since December outside of the house, but then in the last month she was struggling to get around even inside the house.
“Tracey kept trying until the end to keep her independence.
“She went into hospital the week before Easter and was asked on the Wednesday where she wanted to die.
“It was shocking to know it had come. We knew she had two years, but when they say it... We needed to get her home as soon as possible.
“A hospital bed and oxygen tank came home with her, but she was out of the bed and dusting by the Saturday.”
Trips to Cotswold Wildlife Park, the cinema and Chiseldon House Hotel followed, before a special sixth birthday party was held, in order to make Tracey feel like a child again for a day.
Peter, who works as a print finisher, said on May 5 his wife dressed as a fairy and played pass the parcel and other games with a large group of friends.
“On May 10 she sat on the sofa and said she was dying. On May 14 she died,” he said.
“It’s weird, she was told on the Wednesday before Easter in 2012 she had two years to live, and then exactly two years later, on the Wednesday before Easter she is asked where she wants to die.”
Peter and Tracey had one daughter together, 15-year-old Ellise, and a son each, Carl, 18, and Connor, 21, from previous relationships.
Tracey, who was a teaching assistant at Ruskin Junior School, received hundreds of posts on her Facebook profile following her death, according to Peter.
He said she had a massive impact on many of the people she met in her final years.
She even raised £7,000 in one night for Target Ovarian Cancer in November 2012 .
Peter has picked up the torch left by his wife and plans to continue raising money for Prospect Hospice as well as Target.
He raised £1,180 for the hospice at its Big Bike Ride event at Nationwide last month, with further cycling challenges on his radar.
A funeral service will be held at Kingsdown Crematorium on June 4 at noon.
Family flowers only are requested but donations can be made to Prospect Hospice.