A Lurgan teen who bravely shared her cancer story through Facebook is being remembered today through an online fundraiser which was created by her mother in her honour.
Rebecca Haughey passed away on Thursday September 8 at Belfast City Hospital after a lengthily battle with cancer and less than two months after she publicly declared her determination to battle the disease in a heart-wrenching social media post.
Upon learning in late July that her cancer was fatal, Rebecca took to Facebook to share a powerful open letter in which she described the initial shock of hearing that her cancer was no longer responding to treatment and her renewed determination to use a combination of mainstream and holistic treatments to battle the disease.
In a post marked “feeling determined” the popular teen wrote: “My consultant told me that my white blood cell count was back up and it looked like the cancer was working too fast for my treatment to catch up with it. She doubted there was much she could do for me.”
“Understandably, I was in a state of shock. I was basically just told that I was going to die. All I could say was, ‘No. This can't be happening. No. There has to be something you could do. No. No. No.’”
Choosing to use the devastating news as a motivator, the Armagh student continued: “That news gave me the kick up the back side I needed to make me more determined than ever to succeed. To beat this ruddy cancer that had taken over my life.”
“I told the doctor to put me back onto the steroids and other meds to keep my white cell counts under control. I decided to become more strict with my new alkaline diet…[and] that afternoon my mum…got me hemp oil.”
“It's going to be a long, difficult journey ahead but through Hell or high water, I'm going to get through it all and prove to my consultant that this will not beat me.”
Through a Just Giving page set up in Rebecca’s memory, her mother Colette Haughey has encouraged people to support a number of charities which helped her family throughout Rebecca’s illness and reminded people how her daughter would want to be remembered for who she was, rather than as a victim of cancer.
On the page – which has already raised over £1,500 – Ms Haughey described her daughter’s “strength, determination and relentless hope and positivity” as “infectious” before acknowledging the importance of Friends of the Cancer Centre, Cancer Fund for Children, The Boom Foundation and CLIC Sargent.