The husband of a Scottish mum who raised thousands of pounds for vital cancer treatment has paid tribute to her following her death, describing her as “the most courageous person I’ve ever known”.

Roz Paterson, who was 52 and living in Beauly, Inverness-shire, had been fighting an aggressive blood cancer and passed away in Raigmore Hospital in Inverness on Monday.

The mother-of-two, originally from Glasgow, had raised £320,000 of her £500,000 target after being told that she may only have weeks to live and refunded the donations after being offered treatment in the UK.

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Roz initially wanted to travel to the US for Car-T Cell therapy because her cancer resisted chemotherapy.

The money was raised through an online crowdfunding campaign and fundraising events, with Inverness-born Hollywood actress and director Karen Gillan was among the many people who backed Roz’s campaign.

Her local community rallied behind her and raised thousands of pounds through fundraising events.

Announcing the news of Roz’s death in an heartfelt blog post on Friday, her husband Malcolm McDonald, 62, called her battle against cancer a “rollercoaster”.

He said: “Up one minute, down the next, elation as it rose, desperation as it plummeted, twisting and corkscrewing and bending our hopes and fears out of shape as it veered and yawed its way around a ride that no-one knew the shape of.

“No one screamed. No one wanted to go faster.”

“She gave it her best shot. She went down fighting. It was peaceful at the end. She was the most courageous person I’ve ever known. I’ll repeat that: she was the most courageous person I’ve ever known.”

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He continued: “Roz’s blog has touched a lot of people. Elegant and frank, threaded through with her signature self-effacing humour, Roz’s posts eloquently told the story of one woman’s battle with cancer.

“It’s always “battle” isn’t it, when it’s cancer?

“And I think, you know, you read her blog and felt like you had got to know her.

“You had got to really like the way she told her story. You thought she was this wickedly funny, insightful, clever, strong, kind, inspirational, brave woman.

“You could see the beauty in her, the steel, the fire.

“Well, you know what? You were right.

“And the fire still burns bright. In our two beautiful, brave children, in her beloved brother, and deep in my own heart.

“I was lucky enough to share her life for twenty seven glorious years and never stopped loving her to bits.”  

Roz, a journalist who worked for the Daily Record and latterly wrote for Scottish Socialist Voice and also a blog about her cancer, was first diagnosed with lymphoma cancer last summer.

She had initially been told by NHS Scotland that the treatment she wanted was unavailable in Scotland, and that she was ineligible for funding to travel south.

With help from friends and family, including children Thea, 13, and David, 10, she began a funding drive to raise the cash needed for her treatment, which uses a medicine called Kymriah at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital.

After being told that she would be able to get the treatment in the UK, the crowdfunding donations were refunded.

Money from fundraising events were donated to the Highland Hospice, Maggie’s Highlands, Marie Curie, Macmillan and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

She had Large Diffuse B-Cell Lymphoma (LDBCL), and the disease has failed to respond to four different kinds of chemotherapy.

In a blog she previously wrote: “The tidal wave of support that I’ve had......the bingo, the coffee mornings, the selling of squares, has astounded not just me, not just Beauly, but the whole of Scotland. Everyone knows about this case now, thanks to people power!

“People power made me visible, brought Car-T Cell Therapy in from the margins of progress and into the mainstream, and made things happen. I don’t think that door would have opened for me, if it hadn’t been for the consultants pushing, and for people like you putting power to their elbow.”

And of the money she raised she said then: “We thought we could keep this money ring-fenced, and use it to help local families stricken by cancer, to afford a last holiday, help with the rent arrears, just help, really. Nothing need be wasted, none of that effort and caring need fall by the wayside; it can still make a real difference to someone’s life.”