Anna Swabey, 24, was due to marry her fiancé Andy Bell in a dream wedding ceremony in the Yorkshire Dales on 17 September.
Earlier today her family shared the heartbreaking news on her Facebook page that she had passed away “peacefully” in the early hours of this morning.
“I cannot put into words the heartbreak we all feel, but amongst our sadness, we are so proud of her courage, her spirit and the determination she showed throughout her illness,” the post reads.
“If ever there was a person to show us how to live, it’s Anna Louise Swabey, our beautiful, brave girl.”
Anna was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour known as anaplastic astrocytoma in January 2015, at which point she was given just three years to live.
Shortly afterwards she launched her blog ‘In My Head’ to document her cancer journey and began fundraising for brain tumour charities, raising £55,000 on Just Giving in total.
“I am determined to leave a mark on the world, and I am desperate to make a difference,” she said at the time.
Anna met Andy Bell on Tinder following her diagnosis and they quickly fell in love, with Andy describing her as “absolutely beautiful, witty and funny”.
In December 2015, Andy proposed to Anna knowing full well that his wife-to-be had just over two years left to live and he would be a widower by the time he turned 30.
Tragically the pair didn’t even get the chance to tie the knot, as Anna’s health began to deteriorate shortly after her hen party in late June.
On 27 July, six weeks after finishing a gruelling 14 months of chemotherapy, Anna had a scan which revealed she had a new growth on her brain.
Writing on Anna’s blog, her sister Victoria said that shortly after her scan, Anna started suffering from nausea, vomiting and severe tiredness.
On 9 August, she underwent surgery to remove a small apple-sized mass from her brain.
“Anna appeared to recover well from the surgery, though not as quickly as her first operation, and was making steady progress at home,” Victoria explained.
But when Anna’s biopsy results came back on 15 August, the family was left devastated.
“Her biopsy results showed that the tumour had now progressed to a Grade 4. In all honesty, and in typical Anna style, she was more bothered about how we all felt than what it meant for her,” recalled Victoria.
Shortly after receiving the news, Anna’s health deteriorated even more.
Her sister explained that they still all believed she’d be well enough for her big day, but it wasn’t to be.
Anna became very tired and “lacked her usual gusto”. She started sleeping more and more.
Her nurse and a team from Marie Curie came to the family home and gave her medication to keep her comfortable in her final weeks.
“We have a few lucid moments with her every now and then, and we are so thankful that she is comfortable and relatively pain-free,” explained Victoria. “We can all take comfort in the fact that Anna is exactly where she wants to be, surrounded by close family and friends.”
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