Tributes to popular bank worker
“ONE of life’s good people” is how a loving big sister described Jo Long, who lost her battle with cancer in Prospect Hospice last month.
Forty-six-year-old Jo, who worked for Barclays and Zurich before retiring from ill health last year, was first diagnosed with breast cancer about seven years ago, shortly after her only sister, Amanda Bell, entered remission for the same disease.
Despite receiving treatment, she was diagnosed with breast cancer again the following year, and received months of gruelling treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy before doctors declared her in remission.
However, a year later she returned to the doctor with a pain in her side. Cancer in her liver was diagnosed, and it was terminal.
Amanda said: “Last year we went on a big family holiday to Jamaica and we were in the pool and she said she had pulled a muscle in her side.
“She was still saying she had pulled a muscle at the end of the holiday so when we came home we told her to go to the doctors.
“In September last year the tests came back and it was in her liver.
“We were all in complete shock. We all thought that the previous treatment had worked.”
Doctors gave Jo between three months and three years to live, and she was determined that she would survive to the three-year point.
A keen traveller, she planned more trips abroad, including a West Coast tour of the USA, two cruises in the Mediterranean and she also married her husband, Mike, last December at Alexandra House in Wroughton.
Amanda said: “She loved horses. She gave up riding 10 years ago but she used to keep them at Wickstead [Farm Equestrian Centre] and she had two dogs.
“And she was very popular. Everybody loved her. She liked everybody and she was well-known around Highworth.
“She was my sister but she was also my best friend. We were inseparable.”
Jo continued to receive treatment and tried everything that was available until the doctors told her they could do no more to help her.
Amanda said: “Up until the last few weeks she was going to make the most of life. She was a very enthusiastic and energetic person. She was one of life’s good people and one of life’s fighters.”
Jo’s health slowly deteriorated and about two months later, she passed away in Prospect Hospice after spending just two weeks there.
Jo leaves behind a loving husband, a sister, and nieces Courtenay and Tash.
Her funeral will be held on Friday at St Michael’s Church in Highworth at 1pm followed by committal at Kingsdown Crematorium.
Family flowers only. Donations to Prospect Hospice.
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