A woman who inspired others as she continued her life with leukaemia for nearly 13 years has died in hospital. Kathryn Cartwright, 28, defiantly wrote ‘f**k cancer’ on her face after she was covered in bruises when she fell out of her wheelchair. Her website announced that she died in hospital on Saturday surrounded by her family, along with a drawing of Kathryn that said ‘in one of the stars I shall be living’. Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan said she was an ‘incredible woman who worked tirelessly to support people with blood cancer’. They added: ‘Her positivity and sense of humour will be greatly missed, but her legacy lives on’. Kathryn died after succumbing to an ‘insurmountable’ liver infection and her last tweet on January 8 said she had been in agony all day.
She was diagnosed in 2007 when she was just 16 and given just 20 per cent chance of survival. In 2014 she took the selfie that offered hope and inspiration to others and in 2015 she received 80 Valentine’s Day cards after never saying she had never got one. She underwent a liver transplant and three bone marrow transplants and became an Anthony Nolan ambassador, urging others to become stem cell donors like those who gave her a chance at life. In her final interview last November she said: ‘I would really like to make it to 30. ‘All I really want to do now is get to 30 so I can hold a benefit party for myself so that I can hold a comedy gig to raise money for Anthony Nolan. I did it before in February 2018 as part of ten years since I had been in remission. ‘If I don’t I would like my family to [put the gig on] anyway. I am sure [the comedians] would like to do it.’
I have been quiet all day because the bad pain has come back and the doctors have not listened to me so I have been in agony all day, waiting for different drugs, wailing and flailing, trying to find a comfortable position. What is this bug?
— Kathryn Cartwright (@kathryninstereo) January 8, 2020
Kathryn said she thought about death ‘a lot’ and said: ‘It is sad but I am more concerned for my family. If I am dead I am gone but my family have to live with that. ‘It kills me to know that is going to happen with my family. At some point everyone is going to be sad and that is probably going to go on for the rest of their life. ‘I’ve never been scared, just sad because I might not be able to say goodbye to them. ‘In reality living a long life is not going to happen.’ Announcing her death, Kathryn’s website said: ‘As many of you will have realised, Kathryn has been unwell and in hospital for some weeks. ‘The infection in her liver returned and this time proved to be insurmountable. Kathryn died peacefully on Saturday 18 January with her family at her side.’
Her last post on the site was posted just before Christmas, on December 21. Kathryn published a picture of her lounge dressed for the festive season but said she would not be updating until she could type ‘reliably’. She added: ‘Currently I have side-effects from having one of my drugs messed about with in hospital, so I randomly shake or flail. Normal proceedings shall resume as soon as possible.’ And, in an earlier post, Kathryn said she did not expect to spend Christmas at home: She said: ‘It is ironic that I have been trying to write a piece about how this was going to be my tenth consecutive Christmas at home, and this strikes. I am not expecting to wake up in my own bed on Christmas morning. ‘I know I keep writing pieces saying that I think the end is nigh, but every single time, that is how it feels. This infection is going to take a long time to shift, and in the long term, there isn’t really a plan yet.
source : metro.co.uk