Australian cricketer Shaun Marsh’s wife Rebecca has revealed her heartbreak at the death of her mum from stage four lung cancer.
Former Channel 7 journalist Marsh took to Instagram to pay tribute to her mum Annette O’Donovan, who died last night after being diagnosed in 2019.
“At 9:43pm last night, my beautiful mum took her final breath and grew her wings. You were as beautiful in death as you were your whole life @nettyonovan,” Marsh wrote to her 61,000 followers.
“I feel so incredibly blessed to have had you as my mum. Thank you a million times over for everything. I will carry your smile, your laugh, your energy and your wise words with me for the rest of my life.”
Mrs O’Donovan had fought hard against her terminal illness after being diagnosed with adenocarcinoma lung cancer just prior to Christmas in 2019. She had never smoked a cigarette.
At the time of her diagnosis, Marsh’s mother was told she only had three months to live. But after testing positive to a certain strain of lung cancer she was able to prolong her life with new and costly medications, giving her precious time to spend with her grandchildren Austin and Mabel.
“I’m so angry you never reached the final chapter of your life. I wanted so desperately for you and dad to grow old together. I wanted you to be there for all of the kid’s milestones. But I’m comforted by the fact you got to spend almost five years as a grandmother,” Marsh continued in the post.
“Resting was something you were never good at mum, but it’s your time to rest now. Your energy will never die and you’ll be forever young in our memories. See you in my dreams.”
In July of last year, O’Donovan told how the cancer had metastasised to her brain, as Marsh discovered she was pregnant with the couple’s third child Ted, who was born in January.
Despite fighting the terminal illness, O’Donovan had considered herself “lucky”.
“Because I was told I had stage four lung cancer and then I was told there was a drug I could take. How lucky am I,” O’Donovan said last year.
“What’s the point in being miserable or making other people sad? You just be as positive as you can every day, and every day I hope they are researching and coming up with another drug.”
The stigma that surrounds lung cancer — which is the biggest cancer killer worldwide — propelled Marsh to become and ambassador for the Lung Foundation to raise awareness that not just smokers can contract the deadly disease.
“I think it’s just so important for people to know that you can be healthy, not even have a cough, exercise, never smoke and still have lung cancer,” Marsh said.