‘She really was the perfect woman’

Graham and Marilyn Stone from Holbeck
Graham and Marilyn Stone from Holbeck

TRIBUTES have been paid to a “vibrant, gorgeous and popular” woman who lost her battle with motor neurone’s disease after just two years.

Mari Thackery, of New Cottages, Holbeck, passed away peacefully at Sheffield’s Hallamshire on Monday 21st February surrounded by close family.

Long-term partner Graham Stone, 56, who cared daily for Mari, said the family are struggling to cope with her death so soon after she was diagnosed with a “cruel” and “crippling” disease.

“This has left a massive hole in our lives - Mari was such a wonderful, amazing woman and very much loved by all,” he said.

“Learning she had been diagnosed with motor neurone was like being hit by a thunderbolt. Unlike cancer, there’s no cure. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”

Mari was diagnosed with motor neurone’s in March 2009 and soon found the things she loved doing difficult as she lost the ability to walk and even speak.

Son Dean, 39, said Mari, a qualified beauty therapist, was well known for her artistic eye and attention to detail.

“She had a real creative flair and used to make bits of jewellery right up until she couldn’t do it anymore.”

Mari was admitted to the Hallamshire on 7th Feb where her condition soon deteriorated.

Said Dean: “Mum insisted Graham stay with her the night before she died. It was like she knew, she didn’t want to have to say goodbye. She kept writing on her pad ‘Look after Graham and tell him I love him’. It’s so heartbreaking.”

Hundreds of family and friends attended her funeral for a moving and uplifting Humanist ceremony held at Sherwood Forest Crematorium on Friday 4th March.

Mari’s now want to raise awareness about motor neurone’s disease and money for the MND charity to help other families affected by the disease.

They raised £1,500 with a race night held at the Cannon pub on 12th March and hope to make it an annual event on Mari’s birthday on 6th March.

Dean said it had been devastating to watch Graham struggle to cope with looking after Mari, and he said the family wanted to help other people in a similar situation.

“I don’t want anybody else to go through what Graham had to go through - it’s a very cruel disease and we miss mum so much,” he said.

To find out more about MND visit www.mndassociation.org or call 01604 250505.