Tribute to brave cancer victim

A “DEVASTATED” sister has led family tributes to her younger sibling who died after a long fight with cancer. Courtney Torres, 23, of Haverhill was five years old when she was first diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and at nine was only given one year to live.

A “DEVASTATED” sister has led family tributes to her younger sibling who died after a long fight with cancer.

Courtney Torres, 23, of Haverhill was five years old when she was first diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and at nine was only given one year to live.

Her sister Sam Craig described her fight against cancer as “unbelievably brave” in which time she endured nine major operations as well as numerous courses of chemotherapy.

“When the cancer was first diagnosed the entire family was devastated but we always held out hope because without hope we wouldn't have had anything,” said Mrs Craig.


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“My mother searched all over the world for help but as the years went by you knew what was going to happen but we never accepted it.

“She was such a lovely person - she lived for her animals and she idolised her teenage nephews Joe, Nathan and Sonny.”

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Her mother, Linda MacWilliams , said she was utterly devastated by the loss of her “special” daughter.

Echoing the words of her mother Mrs Craig said: “I'm completely in shock even though it was something we expected nothing prepares you for it. I was there at the end with my mum but I can't believe it has happened.

“The thing, which is going to keep me going now, is my mother because she dedicated her life to Courtney.”

At the age of 14 she was in Addenbrooke's Hospital where they gave her chemotherapy for a year.

Shortly afterwards doctors at the Cambridge hospital performed another biopsy and they found another tumour growing and two cysts.

“I've never known anyone as brave as she was - her courage was unbelievable - she never moaned once about any of the operations,” said Mrs Craig.

“The only thing she didn't like was having her blood pressure taken.

“She used to ask if she was dying but we never told her because we thought that would finish her sooner but she knew it was serious.

“My mum says we had 14 years of her over her time limit - it is never enough but we are thankful for the time we had.”

She had started having chemotherapy at home but that had to stop when she broke her leg in the garden of the family home in Haverhill earlier this year.

Her mother Linda thanked the staff of St Nicholas hospice and Addenbrooke's on ward A5 and gave a special thanks to all their friends and family who supported them over the many years of her daughter's illness.

Mrs Craig said she would remember Courteney as a lively and energetic girl. “She never cared of what other people thought.

“On one occasion we were in the pub and there was a disco, it was early and the dance floor was empty but she just got up there and was dancing away giving it her all. She loved life and everyone loved her.”

The funeral will be on Wednesday at St Felix's church on the Parkway Estate at 2.30pm.

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