A Dundee woman who lost her brave battle with cancer has been described as a “ray of sunshine with a lust for life” by her heartbroken husband.
Greg and Tracey Burke, from Ardler, were planning their wedding day when the 30-year-old was given the shattering news that she had cervical cancer.
After three years of gruelling treatment, she died surrounded by her family in the Roxburghe House hospice.
Tracey’s battle with illness touched people all over Tayside and the public helped raise more than £100,000 to send her for specialist treatment in Germany in June.
Greg, 35, said he had lost his “best friend” and now wants to set up a charity in her memory after the “astonishing” support people gave to raise funds for her treatment.
He said: “I feel numb, but Tracey is at peace now. In one way I’m happy she’s not in any more pain.
“She was due to get an operation on her bowel, but she just looked at me and said ‘I’m not doing it’.
“She just wanted to be comfortable. It was a very, very brave decision to make. I think she had carried on and done a lot of it for her family.
“As soon as she said she wasn’t having the operation, she seemed to perk up. It was like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.
“I’m thankful because we were able to speak to her and spend time together.
“She was my best friend and I’m so grateful I met her. Some people search their whole lives for what we had.” Greg said there had been a “revolving door” of visitors to the hospice, with people eager to say their goodbyes.
He said: “She was heavily sedated but there were moments when she would wake up for five or 10 minutes, which was nice because she was able to say goodbye to a lot of friends.
“When she passed it was myself and her mum and brother – it was very peaceful. I’m going through the motions at the moment but I’m heartbroken.
“All the tributes have really helped. I’ve taken a lot of comfort in seeing how loved she was.
“I’ll remember her as being larger than life, with a real lust for life. She just wanted to have fun. She was a ray of sunshine.”
Greg said he had been inundated with calls and texts from friends, family, and even strangers.
He said: “I’ve had people who have lost their husbands and wives contact me and said they would like to chat as they’d been through the same thing.”
Tracey’s funeral will be held on Friday September 14 at 1pm at the Invercarse Hotel, and then Pitkerro Grove Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest next to Greg’s mum Margaret.
There will be a wake afterwards at the hotel, with all friends and family invited. Donations will be accepted for Maggie’s Cancer Centre and Roxburghe House.
Tracey, who died on Sunday, is survived by Greg, her mother Pat, her brother Lee, nephews Olly, Charlie, Finn and Francis, and her niece Neve.