Mother loses cancer battle aged 26

A HEARTBROKEN husband has paid tribute to the bravery of his “beautiful” wife who died from cancer, aged just 26. Emma Harmsworth was diagnosed with breast cancer last July and initially told she had a good chance of survival.

A HEARTBROKEN husband has paid tribute to the bravery of his “beautiful” wife who died from cancer, aged just 26.

Emma Harmsworth was diagnosed with breast cancer last July and initially told she had a good chance of survival.

But she became very ill towards the end of the year and after a series of tests her doctors told her it had spread to her liver and lymph nodes.

Despite battling bravely against the illness, the mother-of-one died on August 24.


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Speaking at their home in Brightlingsea yesterday, her husband Glenn, 38, said they had separated in 2004, but got back into contact when nursery nurse Emma was diagnosed with the illness.

The couple, who married in 2002, moved back together earlier this year and lived with their four-year-old daughter Cidney, and two of Glenn's other children, Yasmin, 12, and Chelsea, 16.

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Emma had been hoping to be able to battle on long enough to see Cidney's first day at school today, but it was not to be.

Glenn, who was a full-time carer to his wife, said even when doctors told her she only had a matter of months left, she had lived with a smile on her face and remained positive.

That time became increasingly tough as Emma had to endure hospital stays on about 20 different occasions and had five blood transfusions.

“She always had a smile on her face and wanted to keep going forwards as she really wanted to see Cidney go to school.”

He said Cidney could not really understand what had happened to her mum.

“She talks about her a lot every day, saying 'mummy is pretty', and looks up to the sky and talks to her, saying 'I love you mummy'.

“Emma was beautiful. She was a really lovely, kind person and she got on well with people as she was very outgoing,” he said.

The couple met at a party when Emma was 17 and got married in Cyprus, but separated two years later after Glenn's life spiralled out of control when he became addicted to drink and drugs.

“I went off the rails with drink and drug problems and got myself into a lot of trouble and we went our separate ways,” he said.

But it was Emma who helped saved his life, by giving him the courage to start rehabilitation on a 12-step programme, even going along with him to the first meeting.

“She said she wanted to help me, she gave me the courage to phone a number to get help, she helped me into rehab and saved my life.”

In the past months, the family went to Center Parcs twice, and managed to go to London to see The Lion King while Emma also went with friends to see pop group Take That.

Glenn said he had been inundated with calls from his wife's many friends who helped during her illness and said the support they gave, as well as her mother, Janet Piech, and her brother in law, Peter Cade COR>, had been immense.

He also praised the “brilliant” care she received while at Essex County Hospital.

Emma grew up in Brightlingsea, going to junior school and the Colne Community College and was also hoped to become a midwife.

Her dad, Michael died from cancer, aged 36, when Emma was just 11, and her ashes are to be buried alongside him in the town.

Emma died at Essex County Hospital, Colchester and her funeral took place at Weeley Crematorium on Friday.

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