A bowel cancer patient who ‘filled cups with blood’ when she went to the toilet has died after she wasn’t diagnosed for nearly a year. Gemma Greenwood, 37, died just before Christmas on December 20, two days after she got married in her hospice. Her family had tried to raise £2,000 to get last-ditch treatment in Germany involving the drug Avastin which she was told was no longer available on the NHS.
Just eight days before her death with her husband at her side, Gemma was told that the cancer was too aggressive for the drug to work without chemotherapy. Her sister Becky, 34, said: ‘She deteriorated every day and we didn’t know how long she had left. The day before she died, she said “I don’t think I will be here tomorrow”.’ Gemma had married her partner Ben Greenwood at Pendleside Hospice in Burnley, Lancashire, two days before her death. Gemma, from Middleton, Greater Manchester, first went to her doctor in the spring of 2015. The 37-year-old had visited a number of GPs and walk-in centres over a ten month period before her diagnosis but could not get answers.
Speaking earlier this month Becky described what Gemma was going through. She said: ‘She was going to the GP in pain and she was filling cups full of blood. They kept telling her nothing was wrong and they couldn’t find anything. ‘If the cancer was caught sooner it would have been operated on sooner.’ Becky said that despite her sister appearing to know her fate, it was still a shock when she died.
‘Nothing can prepare you for that. It was such a shock. It is such a shame. We didn’t even have enough time to get used to her new name [Greenwood].’ Leading tributes, Becky said: ‘An unbelievably beautiful, courageous and inspirational lady who touched so many people throughout her life. ‘We are so very proud of how bravely and fiercely she fought her illness, right until the very end, she is now at peace. RIP my beautiful big sister ‘