Tributes as ‘inspirational’ mum loses cancer battle

Tributes have been paid to Annette Fox, who passed away this year.
Tributes have been paid to Annette Fox, who passed away this year.
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TRIBUTES have been paid to an “incredible” mum-of-two from East Lothian after she passed away from cancer aged 44.

Annette Fox died peacefully at St Columba’s Hospice on March 20 after a long battle with the disease and has been described as an “inspiration” to all who knew her.

An award-winning tennis coach, Annette was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 but was determined not to let the news stop her from leading a full life.

Annette also gave her whole-hearted backing to the News’ campaign to help raise £1.2 million for an extension to the Edinburgh Maggie’s centre, a place she described as “wonderful”.

Paying tribute to his wife, Annette’s husband Peter said: “Throughout her illness, Annette never gave up hope, she battled cancer with bravery, dignity and courage.

“Despite the pain and suffering, she maintained an endless positive attitude – she was an inspiration to us all. We miss her so much.

“The importance of Maggie’s cannot be underestimated.

“Annette could not have found the strength to get through the last seven years without the support of Andrew Anderson and all those involved at Maggie’s Centre Edinburgh.”

The Fox family were catapulted into the public eye last year after they appeared on BBC Children in Need in a special film marking the six-year anniversary of Annette’s diagnosis.

The family travelled to London to take part in the live show where they were able to mingle with a host of famous faces including pop group Little Mix and Craig David.

The film, which also starred Annette and Peter’s children Emilia, 11, and Thomas, ten, was shot in their home in Drem, East Lothian, in August last year and included discussion of the family’s contact with Maggie’s.

Andrew Anderson, centre head at Maggie’s Edinburgh, said: “Everyone at Maggie’s was very sad to hear the sad news of Annette’s death and our thoughts continue to be with her husband Pete and their children Emilia and Thomas.

“I’m sure many people will remember the incredibly powerful film shown on last year’s Children in Need featuring Annette and her family who visited Maggie’s Edinburgh Centre.

“It was a remarkable thing to do and I know they did so because they wanted other people to know about the support Maggie’s offers.

“I hope it is some small comfort to them all to know that the film continues to encourage people to find the support they need at Maggie’s centres across the UK.

“That’s a wonderful legacy and a fitting tribute to an incredible woman.”

The Evening News has teamed up with fundraiser Lisa Stephenson to help make the Maggie’s extension a reality, a move which would help it support an extra 5000 patients every year.

Backing the campaign last year, Annette said the support she had received from the centre – located just over the road from the Western General’s oncology unit – had been a true lifeline.

She said: “If Maggie’s wasn’t here I don’t know what we would do.

“We have no help in the community, no phone calls from the doctor, nothing.

“I don’t know how anybody would cope – just left with the diagnosis.

“It’s always there for you.”

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk