A photo of Leanne with her face resting against her hands and smiling

Leanne's story

Leanne was my sister. She died just eight days after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Leanne was my sister. She died just eight days after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

At her hospital bedside, all we could do was hold her hand as she talked about the future we knew was never going to come.

Leanne's diagnosis

Before being admitted to hospital, Leanne spent 20 months going back and forth to the GP who was treating her for long covid. No matter how many steroids and inhalers they prescribed it was never going to help. As it wasn’t covid.

Leanne didn’t know she had ovarian cancer until an emergency admission for suspected covid and norovirus. A&E staff were concerned about the abdominal swelling they saw, and she was referred for a CT scan. The CT scan showed a mass in her ovary. Ovarian cancer.

A photo of Leanne with her face resting against her hands and smiling

After Leanne returned from surgery, which took place four days after her hospital admission, we were told the devastating news that the cancer had spread and there was nothing further they could do.

Knowing the symptoms can be the difference between living and dying. Bloating, abdominal pain, feeling full quickly and needing to wee more often.

Our family didn’t know the symptoms, neither did the GP.

The life and soul of the party

Leanne was my sister. She was the life and soul of the party, and I have a heart full of happy memories with her. She was just 39 years old when she died and had already made plans to celebrate her 40th birthday in June 2022. She was believed to be ‘too young’ to have ovarian cancer.

A photo of Leanne and Natalie with their mum

Leanne was my sister. She was always the first to congratulate someone on good news and comfort someone when things weren’t going well. This is one of the many things people remember about her and shared when we commemorated her birthday this year. We have held many events to raise money in her memory since she died, and I do believe education is the key to raising awareness and ensuring early and successful treatment of ovarian cancer.

It was my sister who lost her life to ovarian cancer. But it could’ve been anyone’s.

My family are committed to doing whatever we can against this vicious disease. If we’d known the symptoms of ovarian cancer, we believe Leanne’s life could’ve been saved. She could’ve seen her 40th birthday party, and she could’ve been celebrating Christmas with us.

A photo of Leanne and her family at a party

Supporting Target Ovarian Cancer

Not enough people know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. If more people knew, if GPs had more support, education and resources, more outcomes could change. This is why I'm sharing the devastating loss of my sister, Leanne.

Last Christmas without her was a blur. This Christmas I want to make sure we don’t lose more sisters like her.

£21 could help Target Ovarian Cancer train three GPs on how to spot ovarian cancer earlier.

Watch Natalie's video and if you can, please considering making a donation.

Donate today

If you’ve been affected by this story and would like to speak to a specialist nurse, you can call our dedicated support line on 020 7923 5475 or contact us: [email protected]. We're open from 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday.

If reading this story has helped you, join the Ovarian Cancer Community to connect with more people affected by ovarian cancer: www.targetovariancancer.org.uk/onlinecommunity