Described as a ‘beautiful soul with a heart of gold’, Emma Selby died in the arms of her parents on Tuesday morning (April 6) following a battle with brain cancer.
Heartbroken sister Karen Selby said: "We are just trying to comprehend that this has really happened and that we will never see Emma again. She was such a beautiful soul with a heart of gold.”
The mum, of Peterlee, was diagnosed in February 2017 when doctors discovered an inoperable glioma on her brainstem. She was given a course of radiotherapy which stopped the growth of the tumour.
The 38-year-old began her normal life again but in December 2019 Emma and her family received the devastating news that a second tumour had been found close to the first.
Doctors struggled to decide a best course of action but settled on radiotherapy. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Emma’s treatment was postponed.
Emma returned for a scan in June 2020 where a third tumour was found and the brave mum, who worked for Durham County Council, endured three rounds of chemotherapy which sadly didn’t work.
A fundraiser was launched in the hope of raising £96,000 to go towards immunotherapeutic dendritic cell therapy, which works by treating the patient’s blood to be medically altered before it is reinjected back into the body.
In December 2020, Emma was given just days to live but a specialist at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary agreed to carry out the procedure to remove her third and aggressive cancerous tumour. She was discharged home on Christmas Eve.
At a follow up appointment, Emma’s consultant told the family that what was left of the tumour had shown signs of rapid growth.
Tragically, Emma, who is mum to teenager Thomas, died on April 6 in the arms of her parents.
Posting on Facebook, Emma’s family said: “With overwhelming sadness and a heart that is broken beyond repair, I need to let you all know that this morning at 7.15am, my beautiful sister Emma passed away in the arms of her mam and dad.
"She is now at peace, she fought the hardest battle for the longest time, and we are all so very proud of her, she never ever gave up.
“We were able to spend time with her today at home with all of her loved ones around which was so special, and her son Thomas was super brave.
"I want to thank each and every person that has really helped Emma in her fight, there are so many kind wonderful people out there, that really do pull together when it matters and it honestly means so much to us and meant so much to Emma.
“I hope to see you in another life Emma.”