Grimston woman pays tribute to ‘remarkable’ husband after losing him to cancer
A woman from Grimston has described her devastation after her husband died of cancer last month, having raised thousands of pounds for his treatment last year.
Justyna Redhead launched a fundraising appeal in September and raised more than £35,000 in a matter of weeks to pay for her husband Mark’s specialist treatment in Germany.
But this was unsuccessful and Mark, 43, died at home on February 23 – a day after his birthday.
Mark had been through several bouts of chemotherapy, an operation and radiotherapy since he was diagnosed with a stage three brain tumour in 2011, but the family was told his cancer was terminal in January of last year.
In October, Mark, Justyna and their son Oliver spent three weeks in Germany while he underwent the specialist treatment.
But after returning home, his condition deteriorated just a few weeks before Christmas.
“The doctor said he probably wouldn’t make it to Christmas. We were really devastated,” Justyna said.
“Every time he started perking up a bit we got our hopes up. He was fighting until his birthday, and he died the day after at home.
“The worst thing ever was telling my six-year-old that his daddy is gone forever.
“We just really have a mix of emotions, we are devastated and heartbroken, but I also feel a bit disappointed with the NHS system when we look back.”
Justyna said if the family had been aware of the other treatment options available sooner, the outcome may have been different.
“We used to ask doctors if they knew of any treatment he could have had anywhere else, we would have considered anything.
“They always said no, there’s nothing else for brain tumours. We were always searching for something.”
She said she believes they found out about the clinic in Germany too late.
“I would like to tell other people that if any doctors tell you there’s nothing else, don’t stop searching for other options because there’s other things.”
Justyna paid tribute to Mark as a “remarkable man”.
“He was very unique. He has left a huge hole in our hearts. There was a lot he could teacher Oliver, and no one will ever be able to teach him what Mark would have.
“He was generous and he had many friends from all walks of life. He loved his hobbies and he loved his family.
“He was taken too soon.”
Justyna has thanked those who supported the fundraising appeal.
“We raised the money quite quickly, we were really shocked and happy.
“I was hoping we would get a little bit of support in the fundraising, but that was really amazing how people reacted.
“We are really grateful that we had that chance, it’s just a shame it wasn’t successful.
“We are grateful to his friends and family who supported him from when he was diagnosed until his last day.”
Mark’s funeral will take place at Mintlyn Crematorium on Tuesday, March 20 at 10.15am.
His wake will then be held at the Three Horseshoes pub in Roydon.
“It was his favourite pub and our local. We thought Mark would have wanted that.
“He had a lot of good memories from when he started going there as a young lad playing cricket.”