A courageous 19-year-old man who raised £10,000 for charity while battling terminal cancer died “on his own terms”, his mother said.
Jake Hood, of Delapre, suffered a relapse of his Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in May this year and, despite further treatment, his cancer proved too aggressive to be eliminated by chemotherapy.
Jake’s mum Jo Foster said he died at home on December 23 with his parents at his bedside.
In October, Jake, a keen rugby player, organised a rugby match between a team chosen by him and a side chosen by his dad, which raised £10,000 for Cure Leukaemia.
In an interview with the Chron before the event, Jake said he did not want the cancer to define him and wanted to keep going out with his family and friends.
Jake’s mum, Jo, said he had enjoyed trips with his friends to London to use Boris bikes and enjoyed the use of a BMW car thanks to help from the Motobility charity.
She said: “Jake always said he did not want to die a broken man in hospital with tubes coming out of him and he didn’t as he was at home.
“The main thing he wanted to do in his last few months was spend time with people. Having the BMW car was something really special and it allowed him to get out and about and really spurred him on.”
Jake’s mum said the family had received hundreds of condolence cards and messages from Jake’s friends.
She said: “I think he seriously underestimated how many people cared about him. He was very unassuming and did not do things for effect.
“The support for Jake has been huge.”
In his interview with the Chron in October Jake said the money he raised for Cure Leukaemia was the impact he wanted to make before he died. He said he did not want anybody else to ever be in the same position he had been in.
A funeral date has not yet been set but Mrs Foster said she had already moved the service to a bigger venue to help accommodate all Jake’s friends and family.
A spontaneous candlelit vigil was held at the Northampton BBOB club where Jake Hood spent so much of his childhood.
Jake played for the club at all junior levels and organised a highly successful testimonial match at the club in October.
On Tuesday night, more than 200 people lit candles, released lanterns and held a one minute round of applause in memory of Jake.
Georgina Moore, club secretary, said there would also be a minute’s silence before all the BBOB games this weekend.
Ms Moore said: “It was only planned to have a one minute’s silence before training on Tuesday but 200 people turned up and it became a big memorial event for Jake.
“I got a telephone call from Jake’s mum on Christmas Eve and it was very emotional.
“It just goes to show what an inspirational guy he was.”