MORE than 150 mourners paid tribute to Tracey Toop, a woman who never abandoned hope even in the final days of her fight against ovarian cancer.
Tracey, of Windbrook Meadow in Stratton, passed away on May 14 at the age of just 45.
Her family and friends gathered at Kingsdown Crematorium yesterday to bid the brave woman and dedicated fundraiser farewell.
Her husband of 15 years, Peter, 47, paid homage to her life and determination to retain her independence until her very last days.
“The worst thing about the disease was the fact it was taking away her independence and she really hated that,” he said.
“She had to use a wheelchair since December outside of the house, but then in the last month she was struggling to get around even inside the house.
“Tracey kept trying until the end to keep her independence.
“She went into hospital the week before Easter and was asked on the Wednesday where she wanted to die.
“It was shocking to know it had come. We knew she had two years, but when they say it... We needed to get her home as soon as possible.
“A hospital bed and oxygen tank came home with her, but she was out of the bed and dusting by the Saturday.”
Asrecently as May 5 Tracey, a teaching assistant at Ruskin Junior School, had been making the most of her life, dressing up as a fairy and playing pass the parcel and other games with a large group of colleagues. Peter and Tracey had one daughter together, 15-year-old Ellise, and a son each, Carl, 18, and Connor, 21, from previous relationships.