This year, the date of Peter de Villiers’ daughter’s one-year wedding anniversary will be the day her family will lay her to rest.
The memorial service of Odille Monk (28), who married her husband, Scott, on 20 December 2018, will take place on Friday.
“I had her for 28 joyous years,” Peter tells YOU. “I choose to live in those 28 years, rather than in the years that might’ve been.”
Odille passed away early on Sunday morning 15 December.
“She’d fought to the bitter end,” Peter says. “I’d never seen anyone fight like that. Scott is shattered.”
In September, YOU reported that Odille had initially started experiencing “sinus symptoms”. When her symptoms got worse, she went to see a doctor and subsequent tests showed a large, malignant tumour in her chest. It was an aggressive lymphoma. The tumour was too close to her heart to surgically remove it.
For the next seven months, she had eight chemotherapy courses, followed by 20 radiation sessions.
By September this year, the family were hopeful her condition was improving. But three months later, the cancer claimed her life.
“It was God’s will,” Peter tells us. “It was in His hands.”
Peter says the family had spent the whole of Saturday by her side in hospital.
Peter and his wife, Theresa, have another daughter, Claudia (39).
“Her breathing was laboured but she could chat with us,” Peter says. “I don’t know if she knew her time was near.”
He got the news of her passing early on Sunday morning.
A memorial service is scheduled for Friday 20 December at 10am at The Rock church in Paarl.