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14th Jun 2024

Cancer campaigner shares heartbreaking final post before death

Ryan Price

The mother-of-two raised a lot of awareness of her condition.

A cancer campaigner who had thousands of followers online posted a heartbreaking message on social media shortly before she lost her battle with the condition.

Kate Rackham, a 46-year-old teacher from Manchester, was diagnosed with incurable oestrogen-receptive breast cancer at the age of 39.

Following her diagnosis, she became popular online for sharing honest and powerful updates on life with the illness, and helped to set up the Fighting to be Heard charity to raise awareness about incurable cancers. 

In a post on X, the wife and mother-of-two wrote: “If you’re reading this, it means I have died. But do not cry for me.

“I have lived my life on my own terms, the way I have wanted to. I joined X because I needed an outlet, what I got was so much more. You made me feel validated in my feelings and much less alone. Thank you.”

Several prominent people from the media and politics left comments underneath the post, paying tribute to the brave and influential woman.

Broadcaster and actor Craig Charles wrote: “You were an inspiration Kate and I was so honoured to meet you and your family and friends. My heart goes out to them. God bless you.”

Labour member of the House of Lords Jim Knight wrote: “This made me stop today and turn off the noise. Such dignity. Sending love to your family and friends.”

Writer and broadcaster Dave Haslam wrote: “RIP Kate Rackham, a most beautiful woman inside and out. We’ll remember her forever. Big love to Mark and the girls and all her family and friends.”

Kate’s husband Mark Rackham announced his wife’s death on his Instagram, writing a beautiful tribute.

“I am incredibly sad to have to tell you all that Kate died yesterday around 1.25pm,” he wrote.

“She was peaceful at the end and as per her wishes she was surrounded by me, her sister Caroline, her mum Christine, my mum Angela and Rev Huw performing Last Rites prayers. Brian, her stepdad, rushed off to get Ruby and Nancy who arrived moments after she had gone to say goodbye.

“She wanted to say that she lived her life exactly how she wanted to, and had done and achieved almost everything that she aimed for. From her, me and the rest of the family thank you all for your continued loving support.

“I will post funeral arrangements on here later today. Thank you.”

Clare Baron, head teacher at St Joseph’s RC Primary in Reddish, where Ms Rackham taught said: “We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s news and our thoughts and prayers are with Kate’s family, friends, colleagues and all the pupils she taught.

“Kate cared about teaching and educating our young people. She made a difference to the lives of so many people, both in her years in education and her inspirational awareness raising and charity work following her own cancer diagnosis.

“She will very much be missed in our school community and beyond. We are all blessed to have had Kate Rackham as part of our lives.”

In her role as trustee of Fighting To Be Heard, Ms Rackham said her aim was “to raise awareness in a bid that no one else goes through what we are all going through”.

The voluntarily-led organisation states that 57,000 patients are currently living with secondary breast cancer in the UK.

The charity offers support to those living with the condition, and raises awareness of the services available to patients in need of help.

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