The heartbreaking final letter a woman wrote before she died of cancer at age 36 has been shared online, urging others to not “take advantage of the amazing life you’ve been handed”.
Vanessa Juresic, from Sydney, was diagnosed with Stage Four triple negative breast cancer in 2017 and her friends started a GoFundMe page to raise money for her to go on one last adventure.
But the 36-year-old tragically lost her battle to the aggressive cancer on May 11, News.com.au reported.
At her funeral, Ms Juresic’s moving letter including life lessons and advice was read out to her grieving family and friends.
“If you knew me, you know I always wanted to have the last word. I’m sure in most circumstances this was an exceptionally annoying trait but I’m hoping at times endearing?” the letter, read by her friend, Lisa Mayoh said.
“Today is no different.
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“Life is so fragile and so beautiful. Never in my worst nightmares would I have ever imagined I would be taken so soon – ripped away from every single beautiful person here.
“I wanted to be the miracle kid on the front cover of National Geographic but that wasn’t meant to be. Someone up there must need me more for some reason. To look over you all.
“I had so much more to do. I wanted to join boards, write more policy and change the world for the better, fundraise more, mentor and ‘make a difference’ as they say.
“So I’m going to give it a go here instead and give you my learnings from my short life.
“What would I have told my pre-cancer self if I knew my end was so near? What would I have appreciated more? What advice would I give to my loved ones?
“If you want something, go get it, now, trust me, you don’t want to be writing this speech. Stop procrastinating…
“Yes I wanted a family of my own, a long healthy life with Pat, more travel, more time to appreciate every Christmas, birthday, olympics, election, glass of fine wine, bowl of pasta and serve of apple crumble.
“But I’m not going to say to you to appreciate all these things in case you die. That’s too predictable. Instead I say don’t over analyse life and fear a horrible fate. Just live your full wonderful lives and don’t give mortality a second thought. I was unlucky but you’re not.
“Terminal or not you should be reaching for the stars, taking advantage of the amazing life you’ve been handed. Not because you might die! Dying is easy. Life is hard..but ridiculously rewarding. Challenge yourself.”
The money raised on the GoFundMe page for Ms Juresic’s travels will now go to The Garvin Institute for research.