A mother-of-three who wrote an online diary about her battle with cancer has died, aged 34.
Ruth Hayllar, of Pound Hill, passed away at St Catherine’s Hospice on June 20 with her husband, Anthony, at her side.
The final entry in her blog – Kids, Knitting and Guiding – was written by Anthony who broke the news to her friends.
He said: “She was not in pain at all and did not suffer, which was very important for us and Ruth. The children have been told and like myself and the rest of the family they are heartbroken.
“This has all happened a lot quicker than was predicted and goes to show that cancer has a long way to go before we can beat it.”
Ruth started her blog to share her experiences of her three loves – her children, knitting and the Girl Guide movement.
But the tone changed when the bowel cancer she thought she had successfully defeated, returned in October when her youngest daughter, Hope, was four months old.
Ruth, who was a guider at 2nd Furnace Green and then 1st Pound Hill Rainbows, became determined to raise awareness of the disease and to encourage people to look out for the early signs of cancer, even as her own health failed.
Family friend Sally Windsor said: “I would expect nothing less of Ruth. That’s the kind of woman she was . She was so brave and so selfless in everything that she did.”
As well as Hope, Ruth and Anthony have two other children – Isaac, six, and Imogen, 4 – and the couple soon realised the blog would give the youngsters a way to remember their mum once she was gone.
Sally, of Northgate, said Ruth was inspired by the courage of Steven Sutton, who died in May after raising millions for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
She added: “She was really inspired by how he was shouting at people to be aware.
“She wanted people to know that if their symptoms persisted over three weeks, to go to a doctor. She didn’t want another family to go through what her family went through.
“If there’s some one out there who can be treated for this early and not lose their life, Ruth would want that.”
Bowel cancer - the early signs
The NHS lists the initial symptoms of bowel cancer include: blood in your stools (faeces) or bleeding from your rectum; a change to your normal bowel habits that persists for more than three weeks, such as diarrhoea, constipation or passing stools more frequently than usual; abdominal pain; unexplained weight loss. Ruth’s blog can be found at: www.thepoohsticksqueen.blogspot.co.uk