A DAD-of-three will miss his 50th birthday after being given less than a year to live following a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

Jemma Bucknole’s husband Jay will celebrate his last Christmas this year after his sudden prognosis of up to 12 months.

His family is now intent on making as many happy memories as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the community has now rallied around the Wickford family, with more than £3,000 raised in under 24 hours to help fund Jay’s care and family days out in the upcoming months.

Jay, who turned 49 on Saturday and his six weeks into chemotherapy, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August after he complained of stomach ache for a week.


Husband and wife - Jemma and Jay

Mr Bucknole also lost his dad to the same cancer four years ago.

Jemma, 44, told the Echo her three children and Jay talk about everything to try and help them through the situation.

She said Ollie, 21, Charlotte, 18, and Archie, 11, have all seen their dad cry a lot in recent weeks.

Mrs Bucknole said: “The doctors said there wasn’t anything they could do. It had spread to his supraclavicular lymph nodes.

“We cancelled our holiday last year because of Covid which we moved to next summer but we’ve cancelled that one too.

“I don’t think we’ll be able to go abroad anymore as a family but we hope to be able to go to Centre Parcs.


All smiles - the Bucknole family

“We’ve been told the chemotherapy won’t add years to his life so he wont’ make it to his 50th birthday.

“The doctors said he’s got nine to 12 months left in him.

“The conversation telling Archie was horrific.”

A Go Fund Me page has been set up by close family friend Denise Lowery.

More than £3,300 has been raised by the time of print.

Mrs Lowery said: “At first there was hope that the tumour could be removed, however, the prognosis changed rapidly when it was found the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes.

“A fit, lively, life-loving 48-year-old self-employed plumber was having to come to terms with the thought of not living beyond the age of 50.

“The family’s hearts were broken.

“It has been so difficult to witness the pain and suffering this has caused to the family but their strength in dealing with such a horrific situation has been and continues to be admirable.

“Archie is having to comprehend the illness to his beloved Dad whilst beginning his secondary school education.

“There really is little for this fun-loving family to look forward to right now.

“Jay and Jemma have gone from both working, earning and maintaining the family home budget to having no income whatsoever.”

Wife Jemma added: “The support from the community has been overwhelming. They really have done themselves proud.

“People have offered a lot and shared their stories with us. It’s been really humbling.

“We’re just trying to create as many happy memories as we can.

“We’re planning a different Christmas this year. I don’t think we’ll be able to see anyone.

“The rest of the family are finding it really tough too. They can’t see us and they feel really helpless.” Go to www.gofundme.com/f/jay-bucknole.