Jonathan Legge, from Bangor was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare cancer that forms in the bile ducts, on 23rd November 2020. He sadly passed away 15 months later at the age of 41. His wife, Amanda, is taking part in the Cancer Focus Northern Ireland Forget Me Not Walk on Saturday 14th May along with some friends to remember a great husband and friend.
Telling Jonathan’s story, Amanda said:
“Jonathan had been experiencing some back pain that we initially thought was an adjustment to working from home due to the pandemic. He attended a chiropractor for a few sessions, but unfortunately this didn’t appear to be helping, so he contacted his consultant for some further investigation.
“A subsequent scan unfortunately revealed several tumours on his bile duct, liver and two of his lymph nodes. The world just seemed to stop when we received his terminal cancer diagnosis. He was just 40.
“A referral to the oncology department followed and we were advised that chemotherapy was the only treatment option available to him. Jonathan was incredibly positive and courageous and faced each chemotherapy session with fierce determination.
Jonathan received his first cycles between December 2020 and May 2021. The treatment appeared to be successful as the tumours did reduce in size.
Amanda continued: “Thanks to the treatment, we were able to enjoy time together to make some happy memories. We had a lovely holiday travelling part of the Wild Atlantic Way in a campervan over the summer. It was wonderful being able to feel ‘normal’ for three weeks. We had a great time experiencing the beautiful scenery and local landmarks. I cherished every single second of those holidays and I still remember them with great happiness.
“Sadly, a subsequent scan a few months later showed significant disease progression. Despite further attempts at alternative chemotherapy and his determination to not give up, Jonathan’s health deteriorated quite rapidly. On his last few days, he spent a considerable amount of time in hospital.”
Sadly, on the 11th of February of 2022, Jonathan passed away.
Amanda shared with us the reason why she chose to fundraise for Cancer Focus NI: “Since his passing I have been fortunate to have been able to obtain some counselling through Cancer Focus NI. This has been absolutely vital in helping me cope with the aftermath of losing Jonathan. Having someone hold my hand and offer support, encouragement, and reassurance in such a whirlwind of emotions has been amazing. I am incredibly grateful to talk to someone who really understands and cares.”
Amanda also explained why she is taking part in this particular event:
‘I am taking part in this Forget Me Not Walk along with my two friends, Neil and Louise and their son Daniel, who are also Jonathan’s friends. We all love Jonathan so much and want to do something in his memory: to remember all the good times we had together, to raise awareness of Cancer Focus NI and to donate funds to such a worthwhile cause. We are very aware that there are many other local families going through a cancer journey that could benefit from some of the support services that Cancer Focus NI offers.’
“This is a fantastic charity and it would be amazing to have as many people as possible support them and this walk.”
Forget Me Not Walk will take place on Saturday 14th of May in Seapark, Holywood. If you would like to take part to remember a loved one no longer with you, please register at: https://cancerfocusni.org/event/forgetmenotwalk/