New Day columnist, 32 year old Mo Akhtar has died from cancer only 10 days after getting married to her partner of 10 years, Farbaz, 40, in St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney, England.
Mo was diagnosed with lung cancer last July after a persistent cough. Her then partner saw an advert encouraging people not to ignore such symptoms and urged her to go to the hosipital. She went and was diagnosed with lung cancer which had already spread to her brain.
The Doctors didn’t tell her how long she had to live because she told them she didn’t want to know.
She started an emotional diary for publication in The New Day to chart her first days as a newly-wed, and some of the last days of her life with the aim of raising awareness of lung cancer in young people.
Unfortunately, she passed away at home on the same day her first entry was published, last Monday.
“She wanted for her thoughts and words to be read in the paper and keeping them going has been a tribute to her.”
Paying tribute, Farbaz said:
“After 10 days of marriage, and 10 years together, cancer has torn us apart.
“So I’ll be signing off Mo’s diary earlier than we’d hoped. Tragically, she couldn’t complete it but I’m sure that my brave, beautiful bride has already inspired many of you. She certainly changed my life.
“It was a year ago our nightmare started, with a rasping cough that just wouldn’t go away. I’d seen an NHS advert saying if you have a cough for more than three weeks you should get it checked out. ‘You’ve got to do something about it,’ I told her.
“Then last July we were looking forward to going to Lloret de Mar in Spain, a place we loved so much we dreamt of retiring there but the cough was playing on her mind.
“When a lump appeared in her neck she went straight to A&E and they finally found the cancer – a tumour in her lung that had already spread to her brain. Ploughing all her energy into surviving, enduring chemotherapy, she pushed for an extra month, week or even just one more day.
“Our wedding in the hospice was planned in just six days. It wasn’t as things were supposed to be. We’d planned to get financially secure, then we’d get married, have kids, and live happily ever after.
“She was distraught she’d never have children but also told me she had no regrets.
“We’ve been so happy. Our special thing was to walk to London’s Tower Bridge. We did it practically every day for 10 years. That path beside the River Thames is where I’ll go to remember her now.
“When Mo and I met, it’s fair to say I had my troubles – but with her holding my hand, I was able to find the right path.
“Just before she died, when the fighter I knew was almost beaten, she said how worried she was about leaving me, how she knew I was still vulnerable.
“‘I want you to carry on as you are,’ she said. I plan to do just that. Mo used to say that, despite the pain she was in, cancer was worse for me. ‘When the time comes, I’ll be gone, but you’ll have to pick up the pieces,’ she’d say. And that’s what I’m doing, as best as I possibly can.”