A life lived to its fullest

It is with a heavy heart that I find myself having to write this post, unfortunately Tom passed away on Friday morning.

Firstly for those coming across this blog in future years (I know when Tom was first diagnosed nearly 10 years ago he scoured the internet) please do not be discouraged- running and exercise gave Tom (& us his family) 10 more years. In those years ours boys grew in to men and we lived life to the fullest. We had amazing holidays and made amazing memories. Cancer gave Tom a focus that rather oddly helped him in many ways and importantly throughout those 10 years we laughed a lot.

We couldn’t have done any of this without the wonderful NHS – so many loving, caring, brilliantly dedicated, and clever people & then in the last month the wonderful people with Sue Ryder and specifically all the wonderful staff and and volunteers at the Duchess of Kent Hospice. It takes a special kind of person to do what they all do and we are indebted to them.

We have had the most amazing support from family and friends, throughout. Support comes in all forms – helping us so we can carry on with our life’s around treatments and surgery, to being there for a drink and a forget about everything for a while.

We are lucky to have had Tom on our life’s and he took so much delight in convincing people about the benefits of running, I will never forget the joy he had when he came home from chemo telling me how he had got one of the nurses to take up running. So next time you don your trainers smile and remember a life well lived.

34 Replies to “A life lived to its fullest”

  1. I never knew Tom but a mutual friend suggested I read his “ blog” when I was going through my own struggle. His words if wisdom, his inspirational messages certainly helped me through my dark days. I continued to follow Toms journey. What an amazing man, an amazing family . Thinking of you ❤️

  2. So so sorry to hear this news. Toms story over the years has been inspirational. I was so lucky to meet him twice. Those few hours we spent in that bar iin Florence were great fun and will be a great memory forever.

  3. Oh Catherine sending you and the boys much love from Aust. I think of Tom often when running, he has been a huge inspiration for me. So very sad. He fought a hard fight, because of the love he had for you and the boys. Lots of love from us xx

  4. Catherine.

    Tom was our friend but more he was an inspiration too, we have loads of fabulous memories like U2 in Dublin, chilli vodka in Newquay, Camping etc etc.

    We feel blessed to have had Tom in our lives and whilst he’ll be missed, we take comfort in the memories we have.

    I know that this website has helped loads of people, and I know Tom’s legacy will continue to do that for many years to come.

    I’ll close with this thought. A life well lived is better than a life simply lived, Tom lived a full life, albeit sadly shorter than it should or could have been for all of us.

    He’s now running towards the next phase of his journey, I’m certain that his spirit has fulfilled its mission in this life, he’ll now be able to rest in the knowledge that his life was well lived. All our thoughts, prayers and love go to you and the boys. Xxx

  5. What beautiful words and a beautiful family. Sending you courage and strength and lots of love. Tom was an amazing inspiration to all those in a similar situation and he will always have a place in our hearts and memories. You and his boys have been his everything and given him what he needed to fight so hard for so long. Thinking of you all. Phillipa & Darren xx

  6. So Beautiful written, he’ll be very proud of you for writing this. Sending you all lots love you’re in my thoughts and here for you if you ever need a coffee or walk. ❤️😘

  7. I never met Tom in person but we crossed path at Florence Marathon, I believe shortly before he was diagnosed and despite not physically knowing him, he definitely inspired me as a runner and as a person! May he rest in peace and you all find confort in all the memories he created during those years!

  8. I’m a fellow runner with stage 4 cancer, and reading Tom’s blog posts has always shown me how to be positive, to be alive, all while adapting to this awful disease. My condolences to all the family; he’s touched so many lives

  9. Beautiful words. A true gentleman, heaven has gained a very special angel.
    Thinking of you all at this so very sad time.
    Stephen and Hayley (Brown) xx

  10. Catherine my heart goes out to you and your boys as I read this devastating news. I always remember Tom and you fondly from back in our THE days and what fun we had then. The next few weeks, months and years are going to be difficult, but have strength for one another, and take comfort in all your memories and special moments. Sending love and condolences and a cheer to Tom for being so brave in his fight. Xxx

  11. Tom I will miss the battle on the pool table and the beers at the bar.
    It was a pleasure to have spent time with you and the family at our beloved FBI
    I will walk down one quiet evening and raise a glass to you
    Sleep well my friend (x).

  12. We are so so sorry to hear the sad news that Tom has passed away. He worked with me as a student at Devon Grain, and we knew his family very well. I have been following all his blogs and always commented what an amazing, positive person he was. Our thoughts are with you and the family at this very sad time

  13. A life well lived and a family with his legacy.

    It’s with such sadness that Tom has gone, he’ll always be remembered for his ability to see beyond this awful disease and how running became his lifeline, he’s given so much to so many.

    Catherine, I’m not sure how you managed over the years, but you have given your love, support and strength, through the worst times and the best. I know this will be a difficult period for you all, but I hope you know how much love there is for you all – even from those of us that are further away.

    Your boys are a testament to you both and Tom’s legacy will live on through them both.

    A life well lived… we’ll miss you. xxx

  14. Dear Catherine and boys,

    I am a childhood friend of Hannah’s and have known Tom for many years. When people tell you how awesome he was, I can hand heart say he was always like that, and, I suspect, only got better as a husband and father. Following Tom’s story has inspired me in recent years and I will be forever grateful for his display of courage. He was and will remain an inspiration. In reading his blogs I decided to return to University and pursue a new career, which has enabled me to live a life of greater purpose. Thank you Tom. I hope you have many great memories and will yourselves be inspired by his courage in the days and years ahead. Love and best wishes to you all. James

  15. Catherine – thinking of you and the boys. Very sad to hear your news but be certain that he will be pushing at the pearly gates to go out for a run! Much love. M xxx

  16. I knew Tom from Uni and he certainly made the best of of unfair situation. He has touched so many people and inspired them with such a positive outlook.

    He will be sorely missed but remembered in the absolute highest of esteems.

    Tom you are a legend.

  17. We were so very sorry to hear from Liz of the sad news! We have been thinking of you all and send our love. Tom had an amazing life and as you say, lived it to the full alongside his lovely family. Beautiful memories!
    Caroline and Peter xx

  18. Catherine, I am so sad to read this news. Tom was a wonderful person and an excellent colleague and friend when we worked together. He was such a battler in fighting this dreaded disease and an inspiration to many. My heartfelt condolences to you and your boys and may you all relive your wonderful memories together. With love, David

  19. I am absolutely gutted to hear this! I have known Tom for over 30 years from having met at Uni, and it has been great meeting up with him over the years with our reunions! We’re going to miss him! He is a legend and inspiration! His positive attitude astounded us all but that is what made him the amazing man he was! Love to you and the family! If you need anything we’re all here for you! Love you Tom! Rest in Peace xxx ❤️

  20. So sad to hear this news, so many good memories of Tom from our years at Cullompton school, unlike Tom I was rubbish at running but we made great team on the volleyball court!! I was grateful when we got the chance to catch up a few years ago to relive all those memories,
    Best wishes to you and the family
    Rest in peace Tom
    Matthias xx

  21. Over the last few years Sue and John have regularly kept us up to date as to how Tom has been coping with his illness and his immense bravery but also Catherine your incredible bravery too and the unwavering support you have given him, Alan and I send you our very sincere sympathies and our thoughts are with you all,

    From Marlene and Alan Lindsay

  22. So sorry I have just seen this . Tom and I had a few exchanges when I was given my prognosis , we both believed that exercise and running specifically would make a difference and I think it did . Rest in peace amazing man .

  23. Oh, Catherine, so sorry to hear this. What a beautiful post. Love from Richard (Jane’s uncle) and Lynn

  24. Such beautiful words Catherine, our thoughts are with you and the children. It seems like Tom acheived so much in his short time with you all, I can see from your posts you all were so very proud of Tom and what he accomplished. Our sincere condolences Keitra & Mark

  25. So sorry to hear of this sad news! Only met Tom a few times on the Golf weekends with the lads! A real bandit … said he had only played once since previous away weekend… gave him a 28 handicap and yes … you’ve guessed it …. He won the competition!!!
    Can still see the cheek on his smiling face !! Stay strong as he was … an example to us all. Xxx

  26. Over the last few years Sue and John have kept us updated with Tom’s heroic struggles with his illness and his incredible inner strength in dealing with it but also Catherine, your immense bravery as you have had to suffer too.

    Alan and I both send our heartfelt sympathies and our thoughts are with you and your family.

    Love Marlene and Alan

  27. Tom you were, will always be, a truly beautiful soul.
    Your light will never stop shining.
    Brave, courageous and funny – love you Tom xx

  28. Dearest Catherine and your boys,

    Giving you all hugs and loves.

    What an inspiration Tom was.

    Thinking of you all.

    Charlie, Paula, Freddie and Lyra Beattie xxx

  29. So sorry to hear this, Catherine. Without doubt, Tom set the standard for facing and challenging life’s adversities. Our admiration and thoughts are with Tom, you, and your families. Nick and Liz

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