Family pay tribute to brave and dignified Leona

The late Leona Reid, pictured by her boyfriend Jordon, on a trip to the Giant's Causeway last year.
The late Leona Reid, pictured by her boyfriend Jordon, on a trip to the Giant's Causeway last year.

Leona Reid, the 22-years-old Derry girl who lost her battle with cancer earlier this month, bore her illness with “nothing but grace and dignity,” her mother has said.

Janice Reid paid tribute to her daughter, from Drumahoe, who had been studying for a degree at the University of Dundee, when she was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma in September of last year.

Leona, who was studying Spanish and Law, had hopes of becoming a journalist when she finished university. She had been due to graduate this year and was an avid writer. In a popular blog she had written about her own life, as well as fashion and beauty. She was also Fashion Editor and Deputy Editor of the university magazine.

Janice Reid, who spoke to the ‘Journal’ this week, said she and her husband Stephen, have been overwhelmed with the massive outpouring of support in the wake of Leona’s death.

“It’s been amazing, and has been a genuine comfort to us,” said Janice.

She added that Leona had been inspiration to everyone around her in the way she had dealt with her illness.

“When we found out from doctors that there was nothing more they could do, Leona just accepted it. She was just like that, she just had a very even temperament. She dealt with it amazingly. You could imagine someone completely falling apart with that news but she handled it with such grace and dignity.”

Janice described her daughter as someone who enjoyed her life and was loved by those who knew her.

“It’s hard to think of one word to describe Leona. She was many things. She was funny and she just lived every moment. She loved make-up and socialising with her friends. She really enjoyed visiting historic buildings too and she loved her dog.”

Janice also thanked everyone who had helped and supported Leona throughout her illness.

“The support we got from everyone was just amazing. Leona was so happy to be home and that made it easier to bear for us. In particular, the staff of Ward 43 at Altnagelvin were brilliant. When she came home we had the district nurses Eric Ming, Louise Campbell and Marian Devenney and the carers from the the Glen Caring agency, Oise, Heather, Carol and Amadeep.”

Leona is survived by her parents, Janice and Stephen and her brother, Craig.