A blogger who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer has died just one day before her wedding day, after battling with the disease for two years.
Anna Swabey, 25, had detailed her fight against cancer on her blog, Inside My Head, which she created after she was first diagnosed two years ago and was told she could have as little as two months left.
She met her fiancé Andy Bell soon after the discovery of her tumour, and the pair had planned to get married in the Yorkshire Dales this past Saturday – but tragically Anna’s condition suddenly worsened in the weeks leading up to her big day.
A family member posted to Anna’s Facebook page, confirming her death on Friday morning, writing: ‘I cannot put into words the heartbreak we all feel, but among our sadness, we are so proud of her courage, her spirit and the determination she showed throughout her illness.’
‘If ever there was a person to show us how to live, it’s Anna Louise Swabey, our beautiful, brave girl.’
The founder of Brain Tumour Research Campaign, Wendy Fulcher, knew Anna well after to her efforts in raising money for the charity. Speaking after her passing, she said that Anna was ‘bright, vivacious, kind, and beautiful,’ and that she was ‘one of those to whom others are naturally drawn. She had a great sense of fun and a marvellous joie de vivre.’
‘To Andy and her family, Anna was still ‘Anna’ and not ‘Anna with a brain tumour’. This was important to her although she never shied away from reality, giving her time selflessly through interviews to help raise awareness of the disease and the appalling lack of funding to improve outcomes for patients,’ Wendy added.
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Anna had decided to pen her blog in the hopes that she could ‘support others who may be experiencing a similar battle.’
She wrote, ‘even if one person reads one blog post and can relate to how I am feeling, and it makes them feel like they are not alone, I will view that as a success.’
She initially had high hopes for her recovery, as she had met with neurosurgeon Kevin O’Neill, who leads the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Imperial College London.
At the time, Anna had spoken about how her very first consultation with Kevin had caused her ‘tears of happiness’ because she had genuinely believed they could fight the tumour together as a team.
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‘Another bright light has gone out,’ said Kevin. ‘Another young person has been taken by a brain tumour, this most cruel and crippling of cancers which kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other … just one per cent of the national spend has been allocated to this devastating disease.
‘Anna loved the fact that she could make a difference. She certainly did that and I am so proud that I had the opportunity to know her.’