Tributes have been paid to a mother of two who has died after losing her two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer – but not before she fulfilled several lifetime ambitions after her ‘bucket list’ was published.

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Melanie Swan Horton, 47, from Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich, wrote the ‘bucket list’ on Facebook to help keep focused after she was given six months to live after the bowel cancer she was fighting progressed into both her liver and lungs.

The former Thorpe St Andrew High School pupil saw many of her dreams come true thanks to the generosity of people and groups, including learning to salsa, attending her first music festival and skinny-dipping.

She also went to see Phantom of the Opera in the West End.

One of the last items she was able to achieve was to wear a ballgown to a fundraising event she organised at the Talk in Oak Street, Norwich.

Her parents Ann and Ralph Thompson, who live abroad but are now back in Norwich, said her ‘bucket list’ had kept her focused, and added: “It was fantastic for her and kept driving her on. It gave her something to look forward to. She did not complete it, but she was not disappointed.

“She also touched many other people’s lives, promoting awareness of bowel cancer on every occasion she could.

“The ball at The Talk boosted her spirits and raised over £2,000 for the Big C Centre at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital and the Rosemary Group (for people with secondary cancers).

“After the ball, which seemed to sap all her energy, she deteriorated rapidly and was admitted to Priscilla Bacon Lodge, and died just 11 days after admission.

“Mel always had a love of life and had many friends who supported her throughout her illness and gave her the great strength she always seemed to display despite great pain and discomfort. Her twin girls Leanne and Maria, 25, were her life and they are clearly devastated as are we all.”

Mrs Swan Horton was diagnosed with bowel cancer when she was 44.

The funeral is on Monday at St Faith’s at 10.15am. She requested that brightly coloured clothing be worn, family flowers only and donations to The Big C Centre via Peter Taylor Funeral Services, Unthank Road, Norwich.

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