Teen cancer survivor's tragic four words before death

Anya Zuber died at just 19 from the aggressive bone cancer osteosarcoma, and her family are determined to fulfil her wish to help others.

A young woman uttered four tragic words before losing her "brave" six-year battle to cancer. Now family and friends need help to honour her wish.

Anya Zuber was just 13 when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an "aggressive and life-threatening" bone cancer. Despite going into remission twice, the "awful" disease returned in 2020 and last year she passed away aged 19.

“She just said, ‘Mum, there’s something wrong’ and 10 days later she was gone," her mum Elizabeth Egan told 7 News.

A photo of Armidale local Anya Zuber. A photo of Anya in hospital with osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer.
Armidale teenager Anya Zuber passed away from an aggressive bone cancer, with her family now raising funds for research in her honour. Source: Facebook/7News

Most commonly impacting teenagers and young adults, only one in five will survive the disease after relapsing.

Family and friends fundraising to fight osteosarcoma

Asking her parents to help save others from her sad fate, they set up the world-leading research project at the Children’s Cancer Institute called 'Anya’s Wish' to find effective treatment options for children with osteosarcoma.

"Anya’s Wish was for her body and experience with the disease be focussed on the ongoing research to end childhood cancer, particularly sarcoma," Ms Egan said ahead of a fundraising challenge next month.

"In honour of the 19 precious years that Anya lived for, I am taking on my 19 for 19 Challenge to raise funds for Children’s Cancer Institute." The event will see people on October 15 take on challenges like walking, running or cycling 19km

Through the Anya's Wish project, they've managed to prove a specific drug can stop the growth of osteosarcoma cells, as well as create nine unique lab-grown osteosarcoma cells to test the effectiveness of any drugs.

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