A “beautiful” and “bubbly” mum died from cancer at the age of just 27 – weeks after doctors gave her the all-clear.
Tragic Ashleigh Whitaker battled rare condition Ewing Sarcoma for a year before finally being told she was free of the disease in December.
Her fiance, Mitchell Antrobus, 30, said she was “excited” about the future – and had even started looking at wedding dresses to wear on her big day.
But their joy turned to despair on January 30, Ashleigh was rushed to hospital after she started feeling unwell.
Within hours doctors identified her cancer had returned and she died just one day after being admitted to hospital.
The hairstylist from Haslingden, Lancashire, leaves behind her partner of ten years, Mitchell, and their ten-year-old son Jordan.
Mitchell said: “Ashleigh was the most caring and loving person you could ever meet.
“She could just walk in and light up a room. She gave such positive vibes to everyone who met her.
“She was the greatest mum and her child meant the world to her.
“Ashleigh wanted so much from life and had so much more to give, but it was cruelly taken away.”
He added: “It doesn’t feel real that she’s gone, it’s like a nightmare.
“I can’t do anything but feel broken.”
Ashleigh was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare cancer that affects bones or the tissue around bones, in January 2020.
She bravely battled the disease for 12 months and, in that time, underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Clatterbridge Cancer Hospital in Liverpool.
Such was Ashleigh’s character, that while being treated she raised £5,000 for the centre.
In December she was finally given the all-clear and allowed to ring the big bell – a tradition for cancer survivors to mark their recovery.
Mitchell, a fire sprinkler installer, said since getting the all-clear his bride-to-be had started looking at wedding dresses and searching for houses for them to live in.
He added: “She was excited about the future.”
Mitchell said all was well until the end of January, when Ashleigh started feeling poorly.
He added: “It was completely out of the blue.
“She was getting anxious and worked up and her colour started changing.
“When her breathing got worse we got a doctor out, he knew something wasn’t right straight away.
“We got her to the hospital and then found out she had relapsed.
“She was covered head to toe in cancer.”
Mitchell said Ashleigh first started feeling poorly on January 30 before being rushed to hospital on February 2, where she died a day later surrounded by loved ones.
In the wake of her death, Mitchell has set up a foundation in his fiancee’s name called The Ashleigh Whittaker Foundation.
He said: “After going through this ordeal I have found there isn’t enough support out there for people like me or for grieving children.
“That’s why I have set this up foundation, to try to help others in my situation. We’re really targeting partners and children who have lost a loved one.
“I want to make myself available to talk to people and let them know I’m there but hopefully, in the long run, it can be bigger than that.
“I hope it will be a huge support centre to help people all over the country.”
The Ashleigh Whittaker Foundation has a website and a Facebook page which readers can visit to learn more.
Mitchell has also appealed for donations to a crowdfunding page set up to help pay for Ashleigh’s funeral.