Tributes paid to brave young Drumahoe student who lost battle with cancer on Friday

The late Leona Reid with her mother Janice (centre) and Gloria Long in Ebrington Church Hall in 2010.
The late Leona Reid with her mother Janice (centre) and Gloria Long in Ebrington Church Hall in 2010.

Tributes have been paid to young Drumahoe woman Leona Reid who passed away following a battle with cancer on Friday.

The twenty-two-year-old had been studying at Dundee University prior to her diagnosis with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma last September.

Dominic Younger, of the Dundee University Students Association, said: “As her own blog stated, Leona was ‘a girl with a passion for life and all things beautiful.’

“She was a truly gifted student and through her time as fashion editor and then deputy editor of our sister publication the Magdalen, she brought endless fun and wit to her peers.

“She was heartbreakingly taken before her time. Leona will be terribly missed by all who had the pleasure to know her.”

The former Foyle and Londonderry College pupil was fashion editor and deputy editor of Dundee University’s Magdalen magazine and began blogging at https://leonaelizabethblog.wordpress.com/ earlier this year.

On January 8, 2016, referring to her battle with cancer, she wrote: “Long story short, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in September and after countless complications and difficult decisions, I have been switched to a different type of chemotherapy. It may or may not work but we continue to live in hope.

“You may think now an odd time to begin such an endeavour as a blog, but there’s no time like the present and this is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while now. No one can be entirely certain of what the next few months hold for me, but the loving support of my family and friends combined with my faith in God is enough to help me take each day as it comes.”

She also wrote movingly about her family and friends.

“Now as to my roots, my dad is Scottish and my mum is Northern Irish. They met in Edinburgh (only my favourite place in the world), got married here in Derry/Londonderry and moved back to bonnie Scotland. They did the sensible thing and enriched their lives with my brother Craig and I (there are four years between us), and then it was back to Ireland at the turn of the millennium. I’ve been extremely blessed throughout my life with friends and family, they are the most important thing to me. I have an amazing boyfriend Jordon who has been crazy supportive throughout everything and basically I just count myself very lucky.”

Leona is survived by her parents Stephen and Janice and her brother Craig. Her funeral will take place on Wednesday at Roselawn Crematorium following a service of thanksgiving in Ebrington Presbyterian Church.