'It hasn't sunk in yet' - Family pays tribute to 'courageous' Gemma Edgar
PUBLISHED: 09:34 22 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:34 22 December 2018
A mother of two with an incurable brain tumour who made headlines for her inspirational story has passed away.
Gemma Edgar, who inspired many as she continued to battle cancer, died peacefully in St Helena Hospice, Colchester, on Wednesday.
Her loving family were by her side as she passed, including her two sons, six-year-old Dylan and four-year-old Noah.
Lee Relf, Gemma’s only sibling, said: “It hasn’t sunk in yet that Gemma has gone.
“It all feels surreal. She was such a big part of my life that it will never be the same again.
“All we can do is carry on her work of fundraising and raising awareness for the charity and keep running and smiling and telling the boys all the stories about their beautiful and loving mum.”
A former paediatric nurse, Gemma was 29 when she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiform (GBM) eight weeks after giving birth to her second son, Noah. She was given just 18 months to live.
Since that moment Ms Edgar ran the London marathon for the Children’s Eye Cancer Charity, whilst undergoing chemotherapy, and completed more than 60 parkruns.
She also began fundraising for Brain Tumour research with her family, dad Andy Relf, mum Barbara Relf, husband Robert Edgar and brother Lee Relf putting their heart and soul into supporting her.
The family have raised more than £27,000 for Brain Tumour Research to date through several challenges including a sky dive undertaken by her husband Robert and two friends which raised almost £8,500.
After her death, Ms Edgar’s dad, Andy wrote on social media: “Our inspirational, brave, loving, caring, fun and beautiful sunflower has lost her long and courageous battle against her brain tumour.”
Liz Fussey from Brain Tumour Research was also touched by Ms Edgar’s story and all she had done.
She said: “We are indebted to Gemma and her parents and brother for all they have done to raise awareness of this devastating form of cancer which is the biggest cancer killer of the under-40s.”
She added: “Gemma’s death spurs us on to work ever more resolutely towards better outcomes for patients and ultimately a cure.”
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