Do you dare to live? Meet my friend, she did.

I’ve just returned from the funeral of good friend of mine. She died of breast cancer at the young age of 45. I think that whenever someone you know dies young, it always makes you more reflective on your own life.

Rebecca was always a fighter. She was dealt a rough hand in life when at the age of 16 she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer that appears in the lymph tissue. With her customary determination she fought it, passed her ‘A’ levels and went to university. After qualifying the cancer reappeared, but again she fought it and began a successful career as a vet.

She then lived her life to the full. A girl who could never do things by halves, Rebecca ran half-marathons, took part in charity cycle races, and organised a charity ball. Perhaps glad to be given this second bite at life she made the most of it. As her list of achievements was read out at the funeral service it was clear that here was someone who challenged herself not just to be the best but to do her utmost for others too.

Of course, she wasn’t always the easiest person to be around. She was very angry about her situation and sometimes made it hard for people to be around her. But despite that, so many people were, and wanted to be. She was no victim, but a laughing, joking, ball of energy who could hardly pause breath for the amount of talking she had to get through.

Her funeral was full of her family and friends. There were so many tears that someone so young should die, but we all knew the friendship and kindness she had given to all of us and the inspiration that she was. In that, she has left her legacy.

So this blog post is dedicated to Rebecca, who dared to live and showed us how to.


  1. Lynn Tulip says:

    What a great eulogy for your friend Sue. What a brave woman she was too.

    I had a wonderful friend as a teenager who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was 19 back in the 1970s. He went on to live a very full life which was a mix of celebrations and sadness. He married and enjoyed work until he lost his fight for life aged 35.

    Such a tragedy. And I wonder if he had contracted the same disease in 2011 would he have a longer life expectancy?

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