An obituary will never do the life lived by Tony Jeffs justice.
At the age of 27, Jeffs lost his courageous 10-year battle with cancer in the comfort of his own home on Saturday.
Since 2003, Jeffs fought cancer on and off after melanoma was found in a mole on his right leg. The Daily News first met Jeffs and his wife Kelly in December 2009 as they celebrated their first Christmas together as newlyweds. The joyous time of year was clouded by doctors' diagnosis that Jeffs had three to six months to live if an experimental chemotherapy failed to halt the melanoma that had spread to his left lung.
Jeffs beat the odds and two years later climbed Mount Benson, was volunteering with several childrens' organizations, started university and took on the role of a short-term foster parent with Kelly by his side.
"Tony used to say the cancer was a blessing in disguise because it opened his eyes to different paths in life," said Kelly on Tuesday.
Jeffs' most celebrated achievement came on Feb. 24, 2012 with the birth of his first child, Owen. The year to follow was a happy one as the young couple always lived in the present and looked to the future.
Then in January, on the same day they celebrated the discovery of their second pregnancy, Jeffs was also diagnosed with cancer. After an 11-day chemotherapy regime he returned home, but this time the cancer had spread too far, too fast.
Six days after celebrating his son's first birthday, Jeffs was taken to emergency after a night of coughing up blood.
Kelly and family members were given two choice; he could remain in palliative care or return home.
"He didn't know we were bringing him home to die," said Kelly of their decision to make his last memories ones of familiar comfort.
On Saturday, one hour after Jeffs heard the heartbeat of his unborn child for the first time, he died in his bed, surrounded by family and friends.
Anyone who would like to donate a silent auction item for the beer and burger fundraiser for the Jeffs at The Queen's Hotel on March 22 can call Elaine at 250-618-8368 or Vicki at 250-751-2545.
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