Tragically, a very good friend of my wife’s died on Monday 7th September. She was only 33 years old, and Joy had known her since she was just seventeen. I knew her too, but not as closely as Joy, who worked with her at Tesco Metro in Andover. They hugged and laughed on an almost daily basis. Nicki always had a smile on her face, and she was a truly inspirational character, even more so since her fateful diagnosis.
The following is the tribute that appeared in the local newspaper, the Andover Advertiser, this week.
THE family of a popular Andover mum who tragically lost her battle against a rare form of bowel cancer aged 33 have paid tribute to the woman “who never gave up”.
Nicki Wallis, of Artists Way, died last Monday surrounded by friends and family at the Countess of Brecknock Hospice in Andover.
Mrs Wallis, mum to Charlie, nine, and Bailey, six, had battled with a rare form and aggressive form of bowel cancer, known as BRAF mutated colorectal cancer, for 10 months after initially being diagnosed last November.
Despite facing just a 20 percent chance of survival, and suffering from the disabling effects of her medical treatment, the brave wife to husband David and much loved daughter of parents Lynn and Scott Carruthers continued to fight on. Mrs Wallis, who worked as a retail manager at Tesco, even featured in the Advertiser in August with her Race for Life team, consisting 70 supporters, who raised over £10,000 for cancer research.
Mother, Mrs Wallis, said, “She was always positive, right to the end.”
Mrs Wallis’s Race for Life efforts earned her a spot in the final of this year’s Pride of Andover Awards, due to be held in November.
Husband, David, said “I would try to discuss future plans with her just in case the worst did happen, but she would never accept it.
“She was such a supportive and loving wife, an amazing mother and my best friend”
Tearfully, he added, “I’ve heard the expression, ‘she was the best of us,’ and I think that she was.”
Mum, Lynn Carruthers, also paid tribute to her cherished daughter.
She said, “She was someone who would walk into a room and brighten it up.
“She was so popular with everybody and someone who would always put anyone before herself.
“And she was so, so proud of all her boys, not just Charlie and Bailey, but David as well.”
Dad, Scott Carruthers, added, ” She was a real people person.
“The biggest disappointment for her with the cancer was that she couldn’t be with people as much as she wanted to be.
“She had such a large group of friends and was so popular.”
Mrs Wallis’s funeral will take place at Basingstoke Crematorium at 10.15 am on Tuesday, 22nd September.
The family have requested that only relatives bring flowers and that friends and acquaintances instead make a donation to the Countess of Brecknock Hospice.
Advertiser readers are also able to donate to the Countess of Brecknock Hospice by supporting Susan Thornton, who took part in the Great North Run on Sunday in memory of Mrs Wallis.
Please re-post, re-blog, re-tweet, like and comment. Nicki deserves to be widely known. She was lovely.
Photos borrowed from Nicki’s Facebook page.