A woman of real courage


“If you wanted to see what real courage is…..It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through, no matter what.” Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird.

The first time I met Sara, I was overwhelmed by her sheer loveliness, her warmth, her creativity. She was speaking at an event for photographers, encouraging us to think outside the camera box and be creative. I’m always hooked when it comes to thinking outside boxes so liked Sara immediately.

I didn’t know it then, but Sara was already fighting a battle with secondary cancer. She knew it was a battle she would ultimately lose, but was using all her resources to make the most of her life for herself and the many people who knew and loved her.

It takes a lot of dignity and courage to accept what is happening to your body and then turn those experiences into something encouraging to share publicly via her blog Living With Secondary Breast Cancer.

She wrote about her experiences, the gruelling treatment which sapped her energy, the decisions she had to make, her aspirations to see more and do more while she could, particularly to dance the tango and sometimes, but only very rarely, her disappointments. She travelled places she never thought she would be well enough to visit, she was thankful for every day and rejoiced in its beauty.

Whenever I found myself grumbling or feeling sorry for myself over insignificances, I often thought of Sara and scolded myself. If Sara could see the beauty in the day, surely I should.

Even from her bed in the hospice, Sara wrote. Often it broke my heart to read it, how could something so awful happen to someone so lovely?

Sara died peacefully at the weekend, she had real courage, even though, in the words of Atticus Finch, she was already licked. Thank you, Sara, you will always be an inspiration.

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