Young woman pens her own eulogy while battling rare cancer

Picture: Anna Shvets/Pexels

Picture: Anna Shvets/Pexels

Published Mar 25, 2024


In a story that's both inspiring and heart-wrenching, 25-year-old Daniella Thackray from Leeds, U.K., decided to leave a part of herself behind in words.

Knowing her time was limited due to a fierce battle with cholangiocarcinoma, an uncommon and aggressive cancer that attacks the bile ducts, Daniella took an unconventional route.

She authored her own eulogy and instructed her family to share her final message on social media after her passing.

Daniella Thackray with her "fur baby" Leo. Picture: Linkedin Post/Screenshot

On February 23, her family fulfilled her wish. They turned to Facebook and LinkedIn where life's milestones are often celebrated, to share a profound post that Thackray had prepared.

In it, she candidly discussed her experience with cholangiocarcinoma.

The Cancer Research UK states bile duct cancer, or cholangiocarcinoma, is a rare form of cancer that begins in the small tubes connecting the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine.

These ducts are crucial for transporting bile, a liquid that helps digest fats in our diet.

Though complicated and heavy in its medical terminology, Thackray’s final words aimed to demystify her illness, penning her life in light of her journey with a disease that remains under the radar for many.

Daniella Thackray Picture: Facebook screen shot.

"If you're reading this," Thackray began in her note, "then it means I have died from my battle with cancer and my family is posting my final message on my behalf."

The UK native went on to explain that "not all cancers are caused by lifestyle choices," and that despite her "being healthy and active", she developed a form of cancer, "which was not caused by anything in my control and my life was never the same again".

In a series of deeply personal social media posts, the 25-year-old woman shared her battle with cancer, culminating in a poignant final message that has since been regarded as her eulogy.

Throughout her journey, she openly chronicled the highs and lows of her experience. In one of her last LinkedIn updates, she posted a collage of images that captured both the gravity and the grace of her situation - a hospital bed became her temporary stage, with a bright vibrant bouquet, against the sterile backdrop.

With a triumphant note, she wrote: "Liver resection and gallbladder surgery complete ✅ Now to rest, recover and learn to walk again. Bringing up health and well-being in the workplace is tough, but the support from my team has been incredible throughout my cancer journey 🤍.”

"I’m sure I’ll be back to reading employment law updates in no time! See you all soon."

In the eulogy, she went on to write there was "no cure" for her diagnosis, but she hoped that, "in the years to come more research is done about this horrid cruel disease so that more lives can be saved".

And despite her cancer battle, Thackray insisted she was able to "enjoy every moment" she had left.

"As I have always said and believed," she continued, "you should enjoy the little things in life and cherish every moment! Romanticise your life! Do whatever makes you happy and don't let anyone take the joy of life away from you."

She also sent love to her marketing agency employer, family, friends, fiancé Tom Calvert and her "fur baby" Leo, who she said "was definitely brought into my life to help brighten my darkest days“.

She ended her message with a special note for Calvert.

"I love you and always will. Thank you for supporting me and bringing so much love and happiness into my life. Go enjoy your life now, you deserve it."