If this story doesn’t make you hold your loved ones a little tighter this Christmas and remind you of all of things you have to be thankful for, there’s something wrong.
UK couple Elliot and Donna Lowe found out three days before Christmas in 2016 that she had cervical cancer and that the disease had already spread. What neither of them knew at the time was that it would be their last Christmas together.
This year, Elliot Lowe, 42, opened up about what life is like now for him and his four kids, sharing a photo of her before cancer and after the diagnosis to show the toll the disease takes.
Lowe also shared a message that deserves to be read in full:
A year ago to date (22/12/2016) my beautiful wife, my best friend, the mother to our four beautiful children, my world, my soul mate in fact my everything was given a diagnosis by Milton Keynes Hospital that would devastate our lives and change it forever.
My wife (donna Lowe) was diagnosed with cervical cancer three days before Christmas, it wasn’t until the 10th of January 2017 after further tests and scans (PET Scan) that my wife’s consultant at Northampton General Hospital dealt us a further devastating blow that the cancer had already spread to her Lymph nodes in her pelvic area and as a result the cancer had been diagnosed as stage 4b. Despite a very hard, but brutal fight against the cancer involving daily radiotherapy for six weeks and a chemotherapy session, a session which had to stop due to complications it was a diagnosis that was to claim her life.
Regretfully, On the morning of Saturday the 5th of August 2017, my beautiful wife passed away in my arms surrounded by our four young children, her mother, brother and sisters aged just 32 at Willen Hospice, Milton Keynes.
I am sharing this with you today a year after her diagnosis to encourage everyone reading this to make sure that we take it upon ourselves to ensure that the special women in our lives in fact all women in our lives be they relatives or friends to attend their Cervical Screening (once called smears) and not to either miss them or forget to re-arrange.
My wonderful wife postponed her last Smear for reasons I can’t even remember, believe me I’ve tried to remember and there’s not a day goes by I wish I could swap places with her or wish I’d dragged her to the appointment and re-arranged it for her. Having already spoken to some of you here I know that some haven’t had a smear in a number of years, I think the longest was 20 years.
Cervical screening (smear) takes only minutes, I am aware its not the most comfortable or dignified of experiences for women to go through but the consequences of missing one devastates life’s for everyone connected and will do for generations to come, I wake up every morning alone, bring my kids up alone.. yes I have family around me supporting me, and I’m truly thankful for that, but it’s never the same nor will it be.
My wife missed her last Cervical Screen and paid the ultimate price she paid with her life. Let’s not let other families go through this immense pain we face daily let’s fight Cancer together as early detection saves lives I know this as I’m still in contact with women and their families who were being treated at the same time as my wife and who have been given the all clear.
I’m so proud of how hard my wife fought against this devastating disease despite her knowing the awful truth that it would eventually claim her life.
I know its Christmas and some of the pictures may distress you, i apologies if they do, but I needed to demonstrate how devastating Cancer is. Please share this post with your friends and ask them to do the same together we can beat cancer and save lives don’t let another family go through the pain we go through everyday thank you x
Lowe asked that people share the post and they have responded by sharing it more than 17,000 times. Donna Lowe died at the age of 32 on Aug. 5, 2017.
The grieving widower also spoke to The Mirror and revealed how difficult this Christmas is both for his kids and for him.
“The children are struggling beyond words. My eldest is angry with everything, my disabled son still thinks she is coming home and my eldest daughter shuts herself away,” he said. “My youngest daughter is very matter of fact and tells everyone that her mummy is in her heart and her head.”
“I’m dreading Christmas. I have no idea what to expect or how the kids will react, I’m just going to have to play it by ear,” he added.
Lowe is urging all women to get screenings in the hopes that he can prevent other families from suffering like his is this Christmas and beyond.