Vicky Peck, from Headingley was first diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2018 at just 39 years old. After surgery and 8 months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, she was given the all clear.

Two years on, 41-year-old Vicky who worked at Taylors of Harrogate, was back to living a normal, happy and active lifestyle, until she began to experience periods of dizziness. Husband James rushed her to A&E where a CT scan revealed that Vicky had secondary breast cancer and multiple tumours had developed on her brain.

Vicky was then transferred to the care of doctors at Leeds Cancer Centre where an MRI scan revealed how aggressive the cancer was. Tragically, ten brain tumours had developed on Vicky’s brain and any further treatment would be palliative.

Her husband, 42-year-old James, said, “It was a really traumatic time, within the space of a week we’d gone from meeting up with our family and having a laugh on socially distanced walks, to Vicky being given a terminal diagnosis.”

Soon after, Vicky began her radiotherapy treatment and suffered from awful side affects that meant she was rushed back to A&E and within a space of a week more tumours had developed on her brain; the treatment was not working.

At the end of August the couple, who have been married since 2006, were told that Vicky had just weeks or even days to live, so took the decision to move Vicky to Wheatfields Hospice, where she spent three weeks before deciding to return home.

Vicky defied the odds and fought on for three more months, with James by her side. James remembers that as the toughest time of his life, but is so grateful for the support he received, “I couldn’t believe how much help I was given, especially during the pandemic. I don’t know how I would have coped without their support; the doctors and nurses calling to check in, the carers, everyone who supported me and Vicky until the end.”

After Vicky sadly lost her battle with cancer on Christmas Day, James set up a tribute page and has so far raised almost £12,000 for six charities close to their hearts: Cancer Research UK, Sue Ryder, Macmillan Cancer Support, The Joe Strummer Foundation and Leeds Hospitals Charity.

Blown away by the care and kindness he and Vicky had been shown, James wanted to do whatever he could to give something back and set up a MuchLoved page.

MuchLoved is an online tribute site where you can set up a free memorial page to remember someone special and raise funds for charities in their memory.

James says that Vicky’s tribute page has been a huge part of his healing process over the past couple of months, “I think the page really captures Vicky as a person, it’s been an amazing way for everyone who loved her to share photos, memories and spread joy. So many people who knew and loved Vicky couldn’t come to her funeral because of Covid-19 restrictions, so the page has been a great focal point for them to pay their respects. There’s been an unbelievable response, I’ve been amazed by everyone’s generosity.”

“I know Vicky’s mum Sheila looks at the page every single day as she loves seeing all of the incredible things people have to say about her daughter, it brightens her day.”

Leeds Hospitals Charity is one of several charities that will benefit from Vicky’s tribute page, in thanks to the NHS workers who cared for her so well during her treatment. The charity is encouraging those who have recently lost a friend of family member to use the MuchLoved site to celebrate their lives in a positive way and raise funds to support their local NHS hospitals.

The money raised in Vicky’s memory will help the charity continue to support our hardworking NHS heroes in Leeds and to give patients and their families the best possible care during the pandemic.

Set up your tribute page to remember someone special and raise funds to support Leeds Hospitals here.