‘Fighting fit’ newlywed died one month after his wedding when cancer came back
A former firefighter who had been given the all clear was devastated to be told his bowel cancer had returned – and this time it was unsurvivable.
Jason Walker used the time he had left to wed his partner of 30 years, Gilly Boal, before he died peacefully in hospital on July 7.
The "easy-going" 48-year-old had been jogging, going to the gym, swimming and taking long walks before being told the cancer had come back.
"We were just totally in shock, we thought he was going to go back to work," Gilly, 47, told Teesside Live .
"He was doing big walks, he was fighting fit."
Jason had spent most of his life on Teesside, joining Cleveland Fire Brigade in 2002 and proudly helping to keep the public safe until a new venture saw him move to Scotland in 2015.
Jason and Gilly, started running a dog-friendly holiday cottage business in the Scottish borders area as they lived out their dream of working with canines.
He had transferred to Musselburgh Fire Station, near Edinburgh, where all was going well until he complained of an upset stomach in July last year.
Gilly said: "His tummy got really poorly and they had to take him to the hospital.
"They took half his bowel out, they realised he had bowel cancer."
Chemotherapy began in September and after battling through that, the news was delivered in March that he was cancer free.
Gilly said: "He actually got through his chemo really well with the odd side effect.
"This year, in March time, he was told he had the all clear.
"He was raring to go back to work to start at his new station."
Jason had been due to transfer to the fire station in Hawick – closer to where the couple's holiday cottages are based.
But then disaster struck.
"Jason took poorly on April 26, similar sort of pains to the last one, which was a big shock," Gilly said.
"He went into hospital, he was in there until the Sunday, they told me it had spread.
"He was told it was non-operable, he just went down hill from then."
The couple had been together for three decades but never actually married.
Following the news, Jason decided the time was right to pop the question and the pair tied the knot on June 1.
He was then admitted to a hospice where he sadly passed away earlier this month.
"It's a big shock to all who know him," his wife said.
"He was quite easy going really, he was hard working, he liked to do his own DIY and stuff like that.
"When we lived in Middlesbrough, he used to like his nights out in the Coronation pub.
"He loved being part of the fire brigade, he loved being part of the team.
"When he was off, he was getting a bit depressed with it."
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