A ‘beautiful’ and ‘bubbly’ mother-of-one has tragically passed away with a rare form of cancer just weeks after doctors gave her the all-clear.
Ashleigh Whitaker, 27, battled Ewing Sarcoma for a year before finally being given the amazing news of her recovery in December.
Partner Mitchell Antrobus, 30, said his fiancee was ‘excited’ for the future and had even started looking at wedding dresses to wear on her big day.
However, their joy turned to despair on January 30 when she started feeling unwell and was rushed into hospital on February 2 for treatment.
Within hours doctors identified her cancer had returned and, just one day after being admitted to hospital, Ashleigh died.
The hairstylist from Haslingden, Lancashire, leaves behind her partner of 10 years, Mitchell, and their 10-year-old son Jordan.
Ashleigh Whittaker, 27, her fiancee Mitchell Antrobus, 30, and their son Jordan, 10
Ashleigh Whitaker, 27, battled Ewing Sarcoma for a year before finally being given the amazing news of her recovery in December. Partner Mitchell Antrobus, 30, said his fiancee was ‘excited’ for the future and had even started looking at wedding dresses to wear on her big day
WHAT IS EWING’S SARCOMA
Ewing’s Sarcoma is a cancer of the bone, which usually affects the ribs, pelvis and spine. In rare cases, it also occurs in the soft tissues.
The condition affects less than 30 children a year in the UK.
Around 225 young people are diagnosed annually in the US.
Ewing’s Sarcoma’s cause is unclear but may relate to the timing of rapid bone growth.
The most common symptom is pain, which is usually worse at night. Others may include swelling, tenderness, fever and weight loss.
Treatment depends on the size and position of the tumor but usually involves chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy.
Amputation may be unavoidable if the cancer affects the surrounding blood vessels and nerves.
However, this may be avoidable by replacing the bone with a prosthesis or a bone from elsewhere in the body.
Mitchell said: ‘Ashleigh was the most caring and loving person you could ever meet. She could just walk in and light up a room. She gave such positive vibes to everyone who met her.
‘She was the greatest mum and her child meant the world to her. Ashleigh wanted so much from life and had so much more to give, but it was cruelly taken away.’
He added: ‘It doesn’t feel real that she’s gone, it’s like a nightmare. I can’t do anything but feel broken.’
Ashleigh was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare cancer that affects bones or the tissue around bones, in January last year.
She battled the disease for 12 months and, in that time, underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Clatterbridge Cancer Hospital in Liverpool.
Such was Ashleigh’s character, that while being treated she raised £5,000 for the centre.
In December she was finally given the all-clear and allowed to ring the big bell – a tradition for cancer survivors to mark their recovery.
Mitchell, a fire sprinkler installer, said since getting the all-clear his bride-to-be had started looking at wedding dresses and searching for houses for them to live in.
He added: ‘She was excited about the future. She beat it, she won the battle. She rang the bell – and took a big turn for the worse over a single weekend, and that was that.’
Mitchell said all was well until the end of January, when Ashleigh started feeling poorly.
He added: ‘It was completely out of the blue. She was getting anxious and worked up and her colour started changing.
‘When her breathing got worse we got a doctor out, he knew something wasn’t right straight away.
‘We got her to the hospital and then found out she had relapsed. She was covered head to toe in cancer.’
In the wake of her death, Mitchell has set up a foundation in his fiancee’s name called the Ashleigh Whittaker Foundation.
Within hours doctors identified her cancer had returned and, just one day after being admitted to hospital, Ashleigh died. The hairstylist from Haslingden, Lancashire, leaves behind her partner of 10 years, Mitchell, and their 10-year-old son Jordan
In the wake of her death, Mitchell has set up a foundation in his fiancee’s name called the Ashleigh Whittaker Foundation
He said: ‘After going through this ordeal I have found there isn’t enough support out there for people like me or for grieving children.
‘That’s why I have set this up foundation, to try to help others in my situation. We’re really targeting partners and children who have lost a loved one.
‘I want to make myself available to talk to people and let them know I’m there but hopefully, in the long run, it can be bigger than that.
‘I hope it will be a huge support centre to help people all over the country.’
The Ashleigh Whittaker Foundation has a website and a Facebook page which readers can visit to learn more.
Mitchell has also appealed for
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