For women everywhere, Jackie Collins has a final, emotional message.
The late best-selling author, who died less than three weeks ago from breast cancer, penned a final letter to her fans, which her team has now shared on her personal website.
“As you may have recently heard, I revealed that I have been LIVING life to the fullest with Stage 4 Breast Cancer for the past six and a half years. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my message is this,” she wrote. “Early detection can save lives! Get regular mammograms, and/or tell your loved ones too.”
She continued, “Even if you’ve been screened, and you have a gut feeling that something in your body is off, get a second opinion!”
Collins was 77 when she died, and her diagnosis was a surprise to many fans. The author kept her illness a secret from everyone except her three daughters, because, she said, she didn’t want to burden her family with the news. Regardless, she wanted her readers to know that six years with cancer didn’t hold her back.
“Cancer does not have to be a death sentence! You, or someone you love, can live an extraordinary life regardless,” she wrote. “Be kind and be grateful. Never underestimate the power of your mind. Embrace what you love, and LIVE life to the fullest, as tomorrow is not promised to any of us.”
In the letter, Collins wrote that she wanted to donate 20 percent of October sales from her self-published books to the Susan G. Komen foundation, and the post on her website reveals that her team will honor that wish.
“Whatever your pain or struggle in life, don’t allow it to turn you into a victim,” she wrote. “Let your battle turn you into someone else’s hero!”