THREE years after he was first diagnosed with lymphoma and despite a campaign to fund alternative treatment , Gerry Hunt lost his battle with cancer on Monday.
The 62-year-old drummer from Wroughton passed away surrounded by his sons and Shred bandmates Jamie and Darren and his wife Maggie, comfortably in his favourite armchair, three weeks after experiencing a severe setback.
The father-of-two was diagnosed with follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011 before entering remission in early 2013. By summer the cancer had returned.
In April, despite an aggressive course of chemotherapy and stem cell transplant, he was told by doctors they had exhausted all options and he was given two to four months to live.
But Gerry and his family never gave up hope to find a cure and launched a large appeal for funds to cover the cost of alternative therapies not yet available on the NHS.
A course of homeopathy boosted his immune system as well as could be expected allowing Gerry to return behind the drums and perform with his sons at a charity concert.
His family paid tribute to the devoted father, husband and grandfather whose ability to master any task or craft he tackled never failed to impress his family.
“Gerry will leave a massive hole in all the hearts of those that had the pleasure of knowing him,” they said.
“The family were always his greatest and most important focus of his life. He was always fun, adventurous, witty, generous, kind..
“He was generous for no personal gain other than to enjoy the amazed and delighted reactions of people through his talents and generosity.
“He will never be forgotten and will be loved forever and always.”
Daughter-in-law Lindsay Hunt, 34, of West Swindon, said she will remember his determination to stay positive.
“It is so hard to accept that he has passed away,” she said. “But we did everything we possibly could to help him. He had been fighting for three years and was just so very, very tired.
“He passed away at home in his favourite chair in the living room with Jamie, Darren and Maggie there with him. They never left his side.
“It was the best it could possibly be. It’s really how it should be, surrounded by loved ones.”
His funeral is on Wednesday, July 23 at Kingsdown Crematorium at 1.30pm, followed by a wake at the White Hart in Wroughton. The family is asking for donations to Cancer Research UK in lieu of flowers.