The funeral of terminal cancer patient Rowena Kincaid, who died on Sept. 2, three years after being given six months to live, took place in her home city of Cardiff this week.
BBC picture editor Kincaid, 40, wrote and presented two Before I Kick the Bucket documentaries about living with cancer, raised thousands of pounds for cancer charities and campaigned to spread the message of the importance of early diagnosis. She defied doctors who told her she wouldn't live to see her 40th birthday and celebrated that milestone with a costumed ball at Cardiff Castle.
In February, Kincaid wrote an emotional, powerful open letter to her cancer, declaring that she would never give up fighting it. "If you’re waiting for me to give up, give up the life you’ve taken chunks out of, give up after fighting you so hard and so long, you are sorely mistaken! Thanks to you, I now have an even bigger fire in my belly, a huge lust for life, and have the mental strength of an Amazonian," she wrote in the letter that quickly went viral.
At the funeral on Tuesday, her sister read aloud another letter from Kincaid — this time a farewell letter.
First up, you'll need a tissue. Secondly, it's a letter everyone should read, whether they've had cancer, are fighting cancer, are trying to help a loved one fight cancer or have lost someone to cancer. (Which, after all, is pretty much all of us, as 1 in 2 people born after 1960 in the U.K. will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime. Yup, scary.)
Part of Kincaid's letter is a set of "rules" that she has lived by. If there's anything every one of us can take from her legacy, it's these:
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