A young single mother has tragically lost her battle against an insidious form of cancer she had fought since her teens.
Naomi Knighton, 26, from Derby, was diagnosed with a rare type of leukemia in her teens, and despite two bone marrow transplants, the ‘very aggressive’ cancer became untreatable.
Earlier this year the nurse trainee was forced to tell her six-year-old son J’varn, that she was dying, as her family started a fundraising campaign to pay for her funeral.
Speaking to DerbysireLive, her sister Kristy, 32, revealed that Naomi ‘fought all the way’ but finally passed away from the disease on April 11.
‘She really fought it all the way. She began to deteriorate in the last week or so. I did have a few good times with her, and we had some good conversations.
‘All the way through she remained so strong. She didn’t get upset. She just dealt with whatever came her way – right to the end.’
‘He’s become used to the fact that his mum was in hospital so it wasn’t a great, sudden loss.’
Naomi studied at Derby College to become an adult nurse and was offered an opportunity to study at the University of Derby last year.
She was first diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia as a teenager when her mom noticed she was suffering from a lot of throat infections, coughs, and colds.
Doctors ran tests and discovered that she had the condition, which is a kind of cancer that affects white blood cells and usually progresses slowly over many years.
Unfortunately, on January 11 she was told that she only had weeks to live and doctors informed her that she could buy a little more time by undergoing a mixture of steroids and chemotherapy treatments.
Kirsty, who was with Naomi at the time described the scene in a previous interview:
‘They said she had two choices. She could stop everything that day and let it be.
‘But the doctor said it would be quick as it was very aggressive. He said we would be talking weeks not months. The option Naomi chose was to buy some more time.’
Heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury and DJ Tim Westwood were among the hundreds of supporters from around the world who shared their support for Naomi and her family in the months since her story first came to light.
The GoFundMe campaign launch at the start of this year has so far raised more than 10,000 euros ($11,000) which will cover the costs of her funeral as per her final wishes.
Kristy said that her sister did not want her funeral to be a ‘grand affair.’ The funeral is set to take place in Derby on Thursday.
Let’s all say a prayer for little J’varn and all of Naomi’s family and friends who are all grieving the loss of such a wonderful young lady.