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Everton mum Jo Rivron who helped raise £30,000 for cancer charities has died

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AN inspirational Everton mum who helped raise £30,000 for cancer charities has died after a long battle with the illness.

Remembered for her strength and positivity, Jo Rivron (40) defied all the odds to survive seven years following her terminal breast cancer diagnosis in 2015.

She passed away on Saturday at Oakhaven Hospice, with her family by her side.

Together with her husband, Christian, and daughters Matilda and Amelie, last year she set up the “Rivronstrong” campaign in aid of Oakhaven, Piam Brown Children’s Cancer ward and other charities.

Jo Rivron (55348327)
Jo Rivron (55348327)

Her mum Lynn Osborne said: “Jo was so incredibly strong and determined. She really did lift us all with her positivity and I feel that is what kept her going for so long.

“She helped so many other people to come to terms with their fears and feelings following their own diagnosis. Cancer was part of our lives for so long but she never let it define her.”

Over the course of her illness Jo endured over 100 rounds of chemotherapy, several operations and 11 different drug treatments.

Tragically, in June 2020 her oldest daughter, Matilda, was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia just four days before her 11th birthday.

The Rivron family
The Rivron family

With both mum and daughter undergoing gruelling treatments at different hospitals in Southampton, Jo asked friends and family to support the charities which had been helping them.

Within four days of launching their “Rivronstrong” campaign, £8,600 had been donated by hundreds of friends and family from around the world.

Last summer Jo walked 5km to mark her 40th birthday, Christian and her sister Nicky completed the virtual London marathon, and her father Noel cycled over 8,660 miles – the equivalent distance of Everton to Trinidad and back.

Noel said: “The care that Jo received throughout her illness was remarkable. The Spire were absolutely fantastic and later the NHS – we just could not fault them.”

Jo Rivron pictureed centre with daughters Amelie and Matilda donating a cheque for £9,500 to Okahven Hospice (51186982)
Jo Rivron pictureed centre with daughters Amelie and Matilda donating a cheque for £9,500 to Okahven Hospice (51186982)

Both Jo and her family received support from Oakhaven Hospice, and Lynn said: “I just cannot describe how incredible the care was. They are angels – they always maintained her dignity.”

Jo was born in 1981 at an RAF hospital in Germany where Noel was stationed. In 1989, her family moved back to the UK, settling in New Milton with Jo and her younger sister Nicky attending Ashley Junior School and then Arnewood.

As well as being a talented linguist, Jo also played New Forest hockey and Hampshire county netball, and took part in the Prince Philip Cup with her pony club team.

After completing A-levels at Arnewood Sixth Form, Jo went to Oxford Brooks University where she gained a German for business degree.

Working at Shorefield Country Park in the summer holidays she met her husband Christian in 2001, and the pair married at All Saints’ Church in Milford in 2005. They welcomed their daughter Matilda in 2009, followed by Amelie in 2012.

Jo worked in the international sales and marketing sector initially at Russ Berrie in Southampton, then at Source in Lymington. Her next role was at Superior Seals Ltd in Ferndown where she was a European sales and marketing coordinator.

After working at Globus HR in Lymington, Jo joined Thomas International as a product development manager and later an international project manager. Following her diagnosis she remained with the company until 2020.

A celebration of her life is planned at All Saints’ Church at 2pm on Thursday 24th March. Donations in Jo’s memory can go to Oakhaven Hospice c/o Tappers Funeral Services, Milford.

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