Diana was born in the 70’s into a family with a larger than life, exuberant dad, a kind, gentle and loving mum and a brother who was and who remained fiercely proud and protective of his little sister.
Happy family years were spent in Berkshire surrounded by close friends, good neighbours and extended family not too far away. Holidays in France were loved and Diana grew up in a household full of stories of her parents early life together in Africa.
When Diana was just five years old, her mum started developing signs of the illness; an illness that had already taken the life of her grandmother and would subsequently rob the family of her two uncles.
So Diana was raised to have an independent spirit – a feisty personality that helped her to love life in all its fullness and to never be too dependent on one special person. She was just nine years old when her mum died.
We later discovered the illness was called GSS – an inherited condition very similar to CJD.
Despite knowing she may have inherited the rogue gene, Diana didn’t waste a moment in worrying about it. Her deep Christian faith which began in her teens was always a huge strength and comfort to her and it underpinned everything.
She made sure she would never waste an opportunity to do the things she loved – she travelled all over the world, spent years working in her dream job, went walking, loved watching movies and shopping in John Lewis and cooked most Mary Berry cake recipes.
She went to the theatre whenever she got the chance with Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat a particular obsession – She was attached in equal measure to her bike and her beloved VW Golf and spent many hours travelling down the M1 from Huddersfield to Berkshire to spend time with her dad and brother.
But what Diana was really about – her story – are all the very special friendships she made along the way. Everyone who met her were impacted by her kindness, her brilliant sense of humour and her determination to help in so many ways but always to stay out of the limelight. She really did believe almost anything could be made better with her special tea making skills and she had the most gentle, calm and accepting personality. She was truly humble and exceptionally generous with her time and money. She made everyone around her feel special and her smile was such a treasure that we would feel the benefit after a moment in its glow.
Diana began to feel unwell during the Christmas of 2015 but didn’t stop work until February 2016. Mobility and balance were her first signs that things were amiss. The illness rapidly took hold and we lost her in September 2016.
No words can describe our loss and the hole she has left in our lives. Please do all you can to help us find a cure to end the pain and suffering for the present and future carriers of this extremely aggressive disease.