A message from Leanne’s family and friends to all the wonderful people who were her cheering section through her blog…
It’s with great sadness that we write to let you all know that Leanne died last night at Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto. Many of you have already heard this news and expressed your condolences in the comments following Leanne’s last post. We thank you all so deeply for sharing them.
Leanne had been experiencing more and more difficulty with her breathing as a result of the cancer that relentlessly took over her lungs. She was taken into the hospital on Sunday where they tried to make her more comfortable. The suddenness with which she declined on Monday and especially Tuesday was shocking to all of us.
Towards the end, Georgia came in to see her mama and gave her a kiss and told her she loved her. Georgia hadn’t been gone from the room for more than a few seconds when our dear Leanne simply, quietly, stopped breathing. She was surrounded by family and friends. She was at peace. The pain she had borne so bravely was finally over.
A common thread in many of your comments is the sense that, whether or not you knew Leanne in person, you always felt as though you did.
That’s not a coincidence. This blog was a flawless reflection of the things that defined her as a person: intelligence, generosity, compassion, diligence, intelligence (yes, we know we said it twice), and above all, a bold, crackling, mischievous sense of humour, one which could be either heart-warming or scathing – and often, remarkably, both heart-warming and scathing. And at times she had a unique capability to make you cry and laugh in the same paragraph – now that’s a writer.
Leanne wrote just as she lived: No holds barred. No stone unturned. No barrier unchallenged. No opportunity missed. No humour passed by.
So in that sense, all you readers who never met Leanne really did know her.
The discipline and courage required to write this blog gave Leanne so much strength. But knowing that all of you were out there reading it gave her even more, and your constant support, unfailing encouragement, and brilliant advice was a daily inspiration and a source of real joy for her. And for all of us as well.
Leanne’s fight was long, it was hard, and it was brave. Now she’s passed the torch. There is nothing she would want more than for the love and support that you gave to our dear Leanne now to be extended to the many, many others for whom the battle still goes on.
One more thing: in Leanne’s honour, we invite all of you to perform a daily exercise: choose the most over-the-top foul language in your vocabulary and mentally send it, with as much disdain as you can summon, in the general direction of cancer. She’d really, really like that.
More importantly, as impossible as it may sometimes seem, keep smiling. It was the very last thing Leanne did on this earth, and she would be, frankly, a little pissed off at all of us if we couldn’t muster the strength to do it too. Right. Freaking. Now.
Strength and love, friends. Strength and love. And, again, our deepest, heartfelt thanks to you her readers for your wonderful, unfailing support for our Leanne.
Please continue to visit this blog for comments and farewells to Leanne. And please go to www.canceriscrap.com for details on arrangements for a memorial service for Leanne.