THE cousin of brave Natalie Poole has vowed to continue raising awareness for cervical cancer after the mum-of-one lost her fight with the disease on Saturday.
Lisa Lawton, of Dixon Green Drive in Farnworth, paid tribute to Miss Poole, who featured in The Bolton News in November, as an “incredible” woman who “always had a smile on her face.”
Miss Poole, who used to live in Stoneclough, had 20 appointments at Kearsley Medical Centre before she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in July last year.
After rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and a 15-hour operation she was given the all-clear at Christmas — but three weeks later she was told it was terminal.
Despite this, the estate agent worked tirelessly for charity, raising £17,000 for The Christie and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust at a fundraiser earlier this year.
But after taking a turn for the worse over the last two months, Miss Poole died surrounded by family and friends at St Anne’s Hospice in Worsley at 3am on Saturday morning.
Miss Lawton, aged 35, said: “Despite everything Natalie always had a smile on her face and never complained. She was incredible. She always put everybody else first and never had a bad word to say about anybody.
“She always believed she would come out the other side until just a few weeks ago. All the way she was determined to carry on fighting and raising awareness. She kept saying that if it saves just one woman it will be worth it.
“But when Natalie went to St Anne’s Hospice we knew that it was coming to the end. I spoke to her last Tuesday and the way she spoke she sounded different to normal. She said that she’d just had enough of the pain.”
Miss Lawton, who ran with “Team Poole” in this year’s Race for Life on Sunday at Leverhulme Park, believes that if the cancer was caught when she first went to the doctors that she could still be here.
She said: “Natalie spoke about not being diagnosed early enough but she was never angry about it. She just dealt with it and threw herself into campaigning. In fact Natalie pushed me into getting myself checked out last year.
“I was lucky that I was sent straight to the gynaecologist straight away and was ok, but I believe if Natalie was listened to at first then she would probably still be here today.”
Miss Poole’s family and friends will be running the 10km at Heaton Park this weekend. To donate, visit justgiving.com/emmapoole379