TRIBUTES have poured in for mother Jenny Hinson whose first priority was protecting her family from her devastating illness.

“She was just the most wonderful person I have ever known, and my best friend,” said Jolene Hinson, whose mother lost her private battle with cancer at the Great Western Hospital on January 4.

When she was diagnosed with the disease in November 2012, 58-year-old Jenny, from Wroughton, kept it a secret from all but her husband, Joe, not wanting to worry her children and friends.

Jolene said: “That was just her really. She was so brave.

“She always put other people’s feelings first.

“When she found out, she knew she wasn’t going to get better.”

Jolene, 37, and her brother, Ben, 35, finally found out when she was admitted to hospital on November 15 last year.

Jolene said: “We were told she only had two months to live.

“She told her sister then that she wanted to make it through Christmas and New Year, for us.”

Joe, 68, a civil engineer who works mostly abroad, said: “Her biggest wish before Christmas was to make sure she had done the Christmas shopping.”

A wheelchair, hired from the Red Cross, proved a lifesaver to Jenny as she continued to deteriorate.

Ben said: “She was a very independent woman and the wheelchair meant she could still be independent.

“I don’t think mum really wanted to go in it but she absolutely loved going shopping, for everybody else.”

Jenny, who spent a lot of her time in her garden and walking her Labradoodle, Milly, worked with a number of places supporting others, including Moormead Nursing Home, Swindon Council and Connect, where she helped those with disabilities to find and secure work.

She was well respected and admired for her caring nature by everybody she met.

Jolene said: “The neighbours were devastated when they found out.

“She just was a mother to everyone. She had a huge heart. She was just great fun.”

Jenny is also well remembered from Ben and Jolene’s school friends from Jenny’s time as a school nurse at the Ridgeway School.

Ben said: “She just liked to help anybody. She had an amazing sense of humour, and all her life she was always positive.”

The funeral will take place on Friday at 9.30am at Kingsdown Crematorium. Family flowers only, but donations to Cancer Research UK are welcome.

For more information contact Hillier Funeral Service on 01793 522797.