Tragic mum robbed of last Christmas with family just 7 months after cancer diagnosis
Natasha Banks with husband Gareth and sons Nathan, Joshua and Oscar
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A tragic mum was robbed of a final Christmas with her family after losing a seven-month battle with cancer.
Natasha Banks, a former veterinary nurse, had been completely healthy until March this year when she started to feel discomfort while eating a takeaway.
The mum-of-three, from Ashington, Northumberland, was devastated to learn she had terminal cancer after hospital scans last year.
Natasha was given just a year to live after being diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumours, reports ChronicleLive.
Thankfully, Natasha did manage to see her two older sons turn 16 and 18, and made it to her own 40th birthday just five days before she died on November 11.
Natasha Banks with husband Gareth
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But tragically she missed out on a final Christmas with her husband and three sons.
“She really wanted to get to Christmas, it was her favourite time of the year,” said husband Gareth.
“She’d already ordered an eight foot polar bear for the garden.”
Gareth and Natasha married in 2013 after a whirlwind romance.
The pair met on Facebook and started dating, with Gareth eventually moving from York to Northumberland to be with Natasha.
He said: “We were both in a group on Facebook, she sent me a message and it went from there.
“I proposed to her two months after, I moved up here and got a job transfer. We got married eight months later and I never looked back.”
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Natasha had two sons, Nathan and Joshua, from a previous marriage, and she and Gareth, 34, welcomed their son Oscar five years ago.
A former veterinary nurse, for the last two years of her life Natasha worked for the Cats Protection Society as a Cat Welfare Learning Officer – a job she loved.
The family’s happy life was turned upside down in March this year when Natasha was eating a takeaway and complained that “something wasn’t right” with her stomach.
Gareth said: “She had to go into hospital, they did tests and the week after they got us back in to give us the news. It was neuro endocrine cancer.
“The tumours in her liver were secondary and they had no idea where the primary tumours were.
“She had six rounds of emergency chemotherapy. Then they were going to give her a three month break and give her a scan in January to talk about more treatment.
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“They had given her 12 months to live in April. She didn’t make that, but she did make Joshua’s 16th birthday, Nathan’s 18th birthday, and her own 40th on November 6.
“But it’s a shame she didn’t make it to Christmas, that’s what she really wanted.”
In the last two weeks of her life, Natasha suffered a dramatic decline in her health, and died at home on November 11 with her family around her.
A family friend has now started an online fundrasing page to help give the three boys the best Christmas possible as they face the first festive season without their mum.
Paying tribute to his beloved wife, Gareth said: “She was all about family, she would do absolutely anything for her family.
“She was really loving and just wanted the best for us, for her lads.
“The moment she found out about the diagnosis her attitude was just, head down and concentrate on sorting everything out for me and the boys – and she did.”