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Brave Breast Cancer Activist Dies, Leaves Heartfelt Message

 June 14, 2024

Kate Rackham, a beloved teacher and mother of two known for openly sharing her journey with incurable breast cancer, has passed away at 46.

Rackham, diagnosed at 39 with estrogen-receptive breast cancer, fought bravely for seven years, leaving an indelible mark on her community and social media followers before her death, as the Daily Mail reports.

Kate Rackham's Courageous Battle

Rackham, from Morecambe, Lancashire, was first diagnosed with incurable estrogen-receptive breast cancer at the age of 39. Despite the daunting diagnosis, Rackham dedicated the next seven years of her life to battling the disease and raising awareness about incurable cancers.

Throughout her journey, Rackham remained an active and passionate teacher at St. Joseph's RC Primary School in Reddish, where she taught Year 3 students. She was known for her incredible strength and positivity, even in the face of such a challenging illness.

Rackham's impact extended far beyond the classroom. With a following of over 22,000 on social media, she shared regular updates about her condition, fostering a sense of community and support among those who followed her story.

Fighting to be Heard

In addition to her teaching and social media presence, Rackham was a fierce advocate for cancer awareness. She helped establish the Fighting to be Heard charity, dedicated to raising awareness about incurable cancers. The charity has been instrumental in providing support and information to countless individuals facing similar battles.

Despite her tireless efforts and treatments, including a mastectomy, lymph node removal, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, Rackham’s cancer eventually spread to her bones and liver. Her resilience and determination during this time were nothing short of inspirational.

One of her significant moments was sharing her difficult experience with hair loss during chemotherapy with BBC Radio 5 Live, shedding light on the often-overlooked emotional toll cancer treatment takes on patients.

Final Months and Last Message

In her final months, Rackham continued to update her followers. On June 7, she informed them about her worsening condition and expressed a desire to spend her remaining time at home, surrounded by her family. She felt blessed despite her circumstances, emphasizing the love and support she received from her family and friends.

Rackham's last social media post was published posthumously. She poignantly stated, "If you're reading this, I have died but do not cry for me. I have lived my life on my own terms, the way I have wanted to." Her husband, Mark Rackham, confirmed her peaceful passing on a Wednesday afternoon at 1.25 pm. He highlighted her wish to be surrounded by her loved ones during her final moments.

Family's Reflections and School's Tribute

Rackham is survived by her husband, who owns The Barking Dog pub in Urmston, Manchester, and their two daughters, Nancy (9) and Ruby (11). Her family, including her sister, mother, stepdad, and in-laws, were present in her final moments, providing comfort and support.

Mark Rackham expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming support from the community. "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," he shared.

Kate's brother-in-law, Carl Rackham, remembered her as "the most incredibly selfless and courageous woman" he had ever met. He emphasized her remarkable ability to put others first and make a positive impact on the world.

St. Joseph's RC Primary School, where Rackham taught, released a touching statement appreciating her remarkable fight against cancer and acknowledging the profound affect her passing has had on the staff and students.

Community and Friends Pay Tribute

Friend Lauren Zawadzki lauded Kate for her joyfulness and spirit despite her illness, while former Olympian Sharron Davies expressed sadness over her death, emphasizing the need for vigilance against breast cancer.

Social media flooded with tributes from thousands of individuals. Nicola Nuttall and Kathryn Orr were among those who shared their heartfelt reflections on Rackham's life and the impact she had on them.

The Fighting to be Heard Foundation also released a heartfelt statement, expressing their overwhelming sadness and gratitude for Rackham's contributions. The foundation acknowledged the difficulty in conveying what she meant to them and the community she served.

Conclusion

Kate Rackham's legacy as a courageous advocate, a dedicated teacher, and a loving mother will continue to inspire many.

Her battle with breast cancer, shared openly and honestly, has left a lasting impression on all those who followed her journey. In her own words, "I have lived my life on my own terms," she has shown countless individuals the importance of resilience, positivity, and living life to the fullest.

Rackham's family, friends, and the community she profoundly impacted will cherish her memory, ensuring that her spirit and message endure.