Tributes to newly-wed who has died a year after cancer diagnosis
A NEWLY-WED charity volunteer who died after a year-long battle with cancer has been described as "the most fantastic woman ever".
Jemma Jukes was diagnosed with leukaemia in November last year.
The 24-year-old passed away last Thursday, December 6, after losing her fight against the disease.
Today Jemma's grieving husband, Michael Jukes, told The Herald of his shock when the couple were first informed of her illness.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"She was diagnosed on 11/11/11," the 26-year-old said.
"It's a date I will never forget.
"We thought she had glandular fever because our GP said that was what it was. She had blood tests and that was how they found it.
"She was really shocked. I was terrified.
"She had been really healthy, just a normal girl."
Jemma's condition started to deteriorate earlier this month and she was admitted to St Luke's Hospice, where she died a few hours later.
"She lost her eyesight and they said she was not going to last long," Mr Jukes said. "But I didn't expect it to be that quick.
"We both decided it would be best to go to St Luke's.
"She was not even there a day, just a few hours.
"I was holding her hand when she died and so were her aunt and her brother and sister."
The pair met two years ago through an internet dating website and immediately hit it off.
"One day my brain started telling me to settle down," Mr Jukes said.
"I was only on there for three days and she messaged me, we started talking and finally met each other and took it from there."
Following the diagnosis Mr Jukes became Jemma's full-time carer.
He proposed on Valentine's Day last year and the couple, who lived together in Duxford Close, Ernesettle, tied the knot on November 1 this year – just over a month before Jemma's death.
"It was a quiet occasion," Mr Jukes said.
"We were glad we did it that day.
"As soon as we found out [about Jemma's diagnosis] we wanted to do it and we were really proud when we did."
He added: "She was the most fantastic woman ever.
"She turned my life upside down.
"I was lazy and she turned me into a proper man, she got me out of my room and helped me along.
"We both looked after each other really. She was fun, she was always up for a joke and a laugh.
"She loved her nephews and nieces."
Jemma did voluntary work for charity shops but struggled to find paid employment.
Mr Jukes said: "She didn't have many friends but we always said to each other we were each other's best mates and soulmates. I can't get my head around it, it was so quick. I just can't believe it. She was my rock."
Jemma's funeral will take place at Weston Mill Crematorium, in Ferndale Road, at 1pm on Monday.