Community, Family Mourns Woman Who Died 20 Days After Being Diagnosed With Cancer

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Joanna Shaw Joanna Shaw

Joanna Shaw of Chorley, Lancashire, England died on Sept. 27, just 20 days after being diagnosed with adrenal cancer. 

“She made me promise she would be remembered. She spent her last days writing her life story for the kids and filming videos. She just sat down and that’s what she spent her evenings doing,” her husband, Gareth Shaw, told the Lancashire Evening Post.

Joanna filmed herself reading to her two daughters, Eva, 7, and Isla, 3. “She was an absolute angel who was completely selfless. She was all about making sure the children did well and we did well as a family,” Gareth said.

Joanna, who was a teacher at Southlands High School, noticed something was amiss when she took a vacation to France in August. She was short of breath and her ankles were swollen, Blackpool Gazette reported. 

She suddenly took a turn for the worse on Sept. 7 and was taken to the emergency room, where doctors discovered she had adrenal cancer. Only 40 people in the U.K. are diagnosed with that type of cancer each year, and tumors had spread to her kidney and liver - a blood clot had also developed in her heart.

“It took away everything we had without any warning or time to prepare,” Gareth told he Daily Mail.

Joanna was loved by staff and students alike. “Children, former pupils and staff have left some very moving messages on our tribute wall in school and these will be passed onto Jo’s family,” said Headteacher Mark Fowle.

Sources: Lancashire Evening Post, Blackpool Gazette, Daily Mail Image via Blackpool Gazette