THE WIDOW of a Leeds man who died from a brain tumour just eight months after the couple married is set to join family and friends on a fundraising walk in his memory.
Jo Donley, 30, of Wortley, should have been celebrating her first wedding anniversary to husband Matthew tomorrow.
Tragically, Mr Donley lost his fight for life aged 32 in June.
Mrs Donley is preparing to tackle next Saturday’s YEP-backed Starlight Hike at Temple Newsam with 24 family and friends to raise cash for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice at Headingley, where her husband was cared for.
The couple met on a cruise ship in 2009 when Matthew was working as a singer and Jo was a dancer. He was diagnosed with a benign tumour at the end of 2011 and recovered well following an operation in 2012.
Mrs Donley said: “Matt proposed to me on November 29 2013 and I was absolutely over the moon, but unfortunately we were hit with more bad news. An MRI scan and a further operation, showed a new tumour but this time is was cancerous.
“We were devastated, but Matt was always so positive and took everything in his stride. He was determined to beat this.”
Mrs Donley said the couple were married on September 20 2014, adding: “After our wedding a scan showed the chemo was responding, but in March 2015 the oncologist told us there was nothing more they could do.
“Watching Matt deteriorating was the worst thing in the world. He was a strong, fit man and the tumour was just taking over him.
“Wheatfields were fantastic in looking after him and the family through a terrible time. Nothing was a problem at all.”
Sue Ryder is inviting more people to take part in the Starlight Hike from 10pm on Saturday September 26 at Temple Newsam. Go to sueryder.org/starlighthike/wheatfields
To sponsor Jo Donley, go to go to bigdoogs.muchloved.com