Tributes have been paid to a woman who bravely battled life-threatening illnesses ‘with a smile’ for almost three decades.
Accrington-born Alison Knapper nee Kendall, died at Carlisle Cumberland Infirmary on April 8, after collapsing while on a family holiday in the Lake District.
The exact cause of the 43-year-old’s death is not yet known.
Alison was diagnosed with leukaemia aged 15 while studying at St Christopher’s High. Despite receiving a bone marrow transplant from her brother Paul which sent her into remission, the leukaemia was to be just her first battle of many.
From age 20 Alison was diagnosed with lymphoma, diabetes, heart damage and breast cancer, and she underwent a heart transplant in 2015.
Paul paid tribute to his sister, saying she has recovered and come back from the brink so many times, “like a cat with nine lives”.
He said: “She was doing really well with no obvious signs of illness - her kidneys had started improving.
“ It’s been a real shock.
“In the last year she found times to be with her friends and live life to the full, she did it with a laugh, a giggle and a wicked sense of humour.
“She never complained - there were a few tears but she always brushed them away.
“I don’t know anybody that achieved more in the face of such adversity.”
Alison grew up with her parents David and Eileen in Accrington, attending St John with St Augustine CE Primary, and living on Queen’s Road, Burnley Road, and later moving to Rishton.
Defying health problems, she founded her own accountancy firm ‘Tax-Easy’ and trained as a yoga teacher, travelling to study the discipline in India.
She was also a talented musician in her younger days, reaching grade eight on flute and grade six on piano.
She moved away from Hyndburn in her mid-20s and had been living most recently in Clitheroe.
Paul, 44, said they have had “many well wishers”.
He added: “They all spoke of her as an absolute inspiration to them, everyone has said how strong her zest for life was. She always found time for people, she was always out with the most amazing smile.”
Alison leaves her brother Paul, partner Thoydy, dad David, sister-in-law Vanessa, step-mother Kate, and nieces and nephews.
Her funeral was due to take place on Wednesday, April 26 at Accrington Crematorium.