Cancer victim's husband backs campaign

DETERMINED Jean Seeley bravely fought cancer for five years because she wanted to spend as long as possible with the grandchildren she loved so much.Although she amazed doctors with her tenacious fight against the killer disease, in the end it claimed her life.

DETERMINED Jean Seeley bravely fought cancer for five years because she wanted to spend as long as possible with the grandchildren she loved so much.

Although she amazed doctors with her tenacious fight against the killer disease, in the end it claimed her life.

Today her grieving husband Keith paid tribute to his wife – and backed the Evening Star's Raise the Roof campaign for an education and information centre at Ipswich Hospital to help families struck by cancer.

Mr Seeley, 70, of Mill Lane, Felixstowe said: "We knew very little about cancer when Jean was diagnosed – even though you hear about so many cases, it was still an enormous shock."


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"The hospital and the doctors, Somersham Ward, all the staff, were wonderful to us and I cannot praise and thank them enough.

"But I think an education and information centre is essential.

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"People need to know so much more about cancer and what they can do to prevent it, what will happen if someone they love gets it, the different treatments, different types of cancer, and what will happen. It's so important."

Jean, who was 66 when she died last month, suddenly started suffering severe stomach pains in 1998.

Her GP sent her to Ipswich Hospital and it was decided major surgery was needed immediately – she had ovarian cancer which was spreading to her bowel.

Mr Seeley said: "We didn't know she had cancer until the day before the operation. It was such a shock – shattering. It was an extensive operation and they had to take her womb and a lot of her bowel."

"They gave her about three years to live – but she carried on for five years.

"It was incredibly tough at times, but we tried to keep life as normal as possible. The family all still came for Sunday lunch, and we went on three holidays, though she was in a wheelchair for one."

Mrs Seeley was determined to carry on living to spend as much time as possible with her grandchildren, Kyle, Cara, Victoria and James.

The couple had two daughters – Alison and Sandra – and were married 45 years.

Mr Seeley said: "She never said, why me? She never showed any bitterness to the illness at all. She knew she was going to die, but she was determined not to die – she was immensely brave and was in a lot of pain in the last two years.

"I remember on one occasion she told the doctor at the hospital she was feeling tired. The doctor said, 'Feeling tired? You shouldn't even be able to walk about', but she was determined to carry on as normally as possible."

Mrs Seeley underwent five 18-week six-hour sessions of chemotherapy, seven blood transfusions, and six courses of radiotherapy.

Her long-time best friend Beryl Bullock accompanied her on many of these daytrips to the hospital.

The Raise the Roof appeal is aiming to raise the final £100,000 for the £300,000 education and information centre project to put the roof on.

Donations can be made by sending cheques – payable to Raise the Roof – to Geraldine Thompson, Editor's Secretary, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

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