Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Tributes flow for 'beautiful soul'

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MOURNED: Rebecca Hyndman died less than six months after giving birth to son Ben.PHOTO/SUPPLIED
MOURNED: Rebecca Hyndman died less than six months after giving birth to son Ben.PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Tributes flow for a former Tauranga mum diagnosed with cancer just months after her first son was born has died.

Rebecca Hyndman has been described as beautiful, strong and "infinitely brave" by those who worked with her.

Mrs Hyndman, known to friends as Bangs or Bex, lost her battle to cancer just before 6am Tuesday with husband Jeff by her side.

She used to bake the most incredible cakes for her work colleagues' birthdays and went to the effort of finding out our favourites and then spent hours baking them in her own time.
Bridgette Paton-Tapsell

In a heartbreaking tale, the Hyndmans - who had tried three years for a baby - found a lump in her stomach shortly after she had given birth to baby Ben on November 28 last year. Tests revealed it was a gastric tumour and Mrs Hyndman was warned she probably had only months to live.

Rebecca Hyndman. Photo/supplied
Rebecca Hyndman. Photo/supplied

On Boxing Day, friends set up a crowdfunding page to offer financial aid to Mr Hyndman and Ben in the event of Mrs Hyndman's death. By 5pm yesterday, it had raised more than $116,000 and was still open for donations.

Village PR and marketing director Bridgette Paton-Tapsell said Mrs Hyndman was part of the village family for a couple of years and made a huge impact on the team with her talent, humour and aroha.

Ms Paton-Tapsell described Mrs Hyndman as a "beautiful soul".

"She was kind and showed this through being slow to judge people and fast to make people laugh. Her humour was fantastic and so irreverent," Ms Paton-Tapsell said.

"She used to bake the most incredible cakes for her work colleagues' birthdays and went to the effort of finding out our favourites and then spent hours baking them in her own time.

"She once made my young son a birthday card that he still talks about today because it was a collage of Michael Jackson images, his favourite popstar at the time. He and his brother returned her handmade cards when they heard she was ill and she said that made her day."

We are heartbroken with her passing, she was aroha personified.
Bridgette Paton-Tapsell

Ms Paton-Tapsell said Mrs Hyndman made tight friendships with her colleagues who had all remained in contact. Despite her huge circle of friends and her ill health, she replied to everyone.

"We are heartbroken with her passing, she was aroha personified. Our love and condolences to Jeff, baby Ben and her family," Ms Paton-Tapsell said.

Friend Anna Seccombe, who set up the Givealittle page, said she did so to provide financial security during a time when the Hyndmans needed it most.

"Rebecca is extremely concerned first for her family," Ms Seccombe said. "She is worried about leaving behind her husband and son without the financial means to allow them time to grieve when she is gone. She also wants them to be able to get on with their lives without having the added burden of financial pressure."

A social media page set up for Mrs Hyndman said her strength and positivity "in even the darkest moments" were inspiring.

In her last Givealittle update Mrs Hyndman thanked those who had already helped.

"I cannot begin to describe the feeling of overwhelming warmth and strength I take from each of your posts - on the days when life is a bit dark, they help me get through. Knowing that this fund can go towards keeping my two boys looked after with a home they can call their own is beyond priceless for me and my gratitude for this is endless. If I could hug each of you, I absolutely would."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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