A CANCER sufferer who was given the all clear by doctors has died after the disease returned and ravaged her body.
Mum-of-two Beverley Haslehurst, 45, who lived off Burnley Road, Accrington, was diagnosed six years ago with synovial sarcoma – a rare cancer believed to affect one in a million people.
After an operation to remove a tumour from her hip and cycles of aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Beverley began to recover and five years later she was officially told she was in remission. However, just 36 days ago the cancer returned, claiming her life.
Her daughter, Lindsay, 27, said: "The original attacked the fluid between the bone and muscle and was growing on her hip so it could be removed. This time it was travelling in the membrane around her organs and it couldn’t be pin-pointed. She didn’t have a fighting chance this time around."
Ms Haslehurst spent 20 days at the Christie Hospital, Manchester, before being moved to the East Lancashire Hospice, where she died last Thursday.
Lindsay added: "She was a fighter. The cancer was so rare she was a test case for the Christie hospital so the doctors could learn more about it.
"She went for a check up every year so it was a big shock when the cancer came back. We even joked about ‘Rex’ – that’s what we called the tumour because we didn’t like the name. That’s how she dealt with the illness.
"When she was diagnosed, we were told it was fatal but nobody could tell us how long she had because it is so rare. Doctors say it’s a one-in-a-million illness. It all happened so quickly."
Until being diagnosed with cancer six years ago, Ms Haslehurst worked at Hyndburn Sports Centre for 17 years. She later joined the Cruise Thomas Cook sales team at the Globe Centre, Accrington, where she sold holidays alongside her two daughters and was regularly named sales person of the month.
Lindsay added: "After being diagnosed the first time, her whole outlook on life changed. She lived for today, not for tomorrow. She was a true friend to many and filled everyone’s lives with laughter."
Ms Haslehurst leaves daughters Lindsay and Claire, her brother Graham Holden, parents Maureen and John Holden, niece Mia and many friends. Her first grandchild is also expected in August.
Her funeral was yesterday when Father Daly conducted a service at St Mary’s, Accrington, followed by cremation. At the service, her friends read out a poem called "What can we say about this girl", written in tribute to her.
Arrangements: Hyndburn Funeral Service