Wed, 18 Jul 2018
TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular Thatcham woman who lost her battle against cancer just weeks after getting married.
Thirty-eight-year-old Anna Smith (nee Cassell) was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.
The disease spread to her liver and lungs and she died on June 7, at St Michael’s Hospice, Basingstoke, eight days after being admitted.
Despite being seriously ill, Mrs Smith managed to marry her husband Ed and fit in a three-day honeymoon before her death.
Following her diagnosis, the couple, both members of Crossfit in Aldermaston, embarked on a fundraising campaign for Macmillan Cancer Research and The Basing Unit – the specialist cancer unit in North Hampshire.
Together, they raised an incredible £31,000.
Mr Smith, 34, paid tribute to his late wife, saying: “Anna is a true inspiration to a lot of people and I know she’s changed a lot of people’s lives and people’s views on life.
“She’s a true fighter and left a legacy behind her.
“I am very proud of her but obviously very upset and lost by what’s happened.
“She had a motto that she lived by – ‘every day may not be good but there is good in every day’. She stuck by it.
“It was a rubbish year, but every day something good happened.”
Mr Smith added: “We did manage to get married on May 26, which in true Anna fashion she managed to organise pretty much by herself.
“We got married at Shaw House and then we had the reception at the Royal Oak in Yattendon.
“The wedding day was incredible and everyone had a great day.
“Everyone was happy we got married.
“We couldn’t wipe the smile from Anna’s face, considering she was pretty poorly at the time.
“We then managed three days away in a vintage VW camper van as our honeymoon before she was admitted into hospital.”
Tragically, Mrs Smith was admitted to the hospice on the very day she returned from her honeymoon.
The pair were originally planning to wed in September, but the doctor advised that they brought the day forward.
Mr Smith, started fundraising earlier this year through a series of events at Crossfit Aldermaston and taking part in the Three Fan Dance.
For the Three Fan Dance, competitors went up and over Pen y Fan – the highest peak in Wales – carrying 35lbs each, three times in two days, covering a total distance of 72km (44.7 miles).
The Basing Unit have already started spending the money raised, purchasing seven chairs for patient use during chemotherapy.
“They are all-singing and all-dancing chairs,” said Mr Smith, “and Anna helped to choose the colours.
“Anna’s favourite was the pink one and she said ‘when I come in for treatment that’s my chair’.
“It’s nice to see what the Basing Unit has spent the money on.”
Mr Smith is planning to raise more money, this time for St Michael’s Hospice, by cycling 65 miles for the Big Wheel 26 race.
Rather than ask for sponsorship, Mr Smith is encouraging anyone who wants to help to take part as the £25 entry fee goes directly to the hospice.
You can enter by visiting https://www.cyclebigwheel.co.uk/
For the full story see this week's Newbury Weekly News