Husband’s tribute to Old Catton woman who always put others first

The heartbroken husband of a woman who lost a brave battle to cancer has helped raise more than �1,000 for troubled young people in memory of his wife.

Nichole Porter, 44, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 but lost her spirited seven year fight against the disease just a few weeks ago.

In the end the mother-of-two was being cared for full-time by her husband Dylan, 45, at their home in George Hill, off North Walsham Road, Old Catton.

Mr Dylan, a lecturer at Norwich City College, said his wife, a former lead youth support worker within the county council's children's services department, always put others first.

He said: 'She was a very strong, stoic person and just got on with life.

'What she was worrying about was making sure her family was looked after. She cared about youth work so, with the government cuts, she wanted to make sure there was some focus on areas of need - especially to do with youth work and young people in need.'

Last month Mr Dylan was one of around 60 people including friends Sam McCallum and Carol Mallett to take part in a walk from Overstrand to Cromer to help raise money for the Norwich-based St Edmunds Society which provides temporary accommodation for males 16 and over.

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It is hoped the event might become an annual fixture in her memory which would be held at the same time as the crab and lobster festival held in Cromer and Sheringham every May.

Mr Porter said it would be a fitting way to remember his wife so she could help others after death as she did in life despite being struck down with cancer.

The couple, who had known each other since they were pupils at Bungay High School had been together for six years before they married in 2006.

By that time Mrs Porter, a keen artist who also loved good food, music and travelling to Greece where her father is from, had already been diagnosed with breast cancer - something Mr Porter said came 'completely out of the blue'.

He said they supported each other throughout her illness - from diagnosis to treatment, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and mastectomy, to her final days at home.

By last Christmas Mr Porter had been given the dreaded news that his wife would not win her battle with the disease.

He said: 'The day after Christmas she went into a coma at home and we thought we had lost her then but she fought away out of that and we were lucky to have another four months. That's how she was - she wanted to be strong for everyone else.'

After coming out of the coma Mrs Porter, who loved being with her family and friends, was still mentally agile but lost her mobility and spent much of her final weeks in bed being cared for by her husband who had given up work in December.

He said: 'She wanted to be cared for at home. We had a lot of support from the district nurses and carers and had a hoist at home so we could get her into a wheelchair and take her into the garden.'

Mr Porter said he has been 'very, very proud' of the way her children Billy, 20, and Ria, 16, have tried to come to terms with their loss and the 'incredible strength' they've shown.

He also thanked family and friends for their support up to and following her death on April 26 including her parents Claire and Steve Pazarlis.

Would you like to pay tribute to a loved one? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email