Ann’s story: This is why cancer research is so close to my heart

Ann supports Australian cancer researchLoyal supporter, Mrs Ann Smith, is proud to be connected with ACRF and hopes that together we can put an end to the devastating effects of cancer.

I met my John in 1974 at our workplace in London. Relationships between staff were discouraged in those days so we kept it a secret until I left the company. We were both madly in love and we knew that we were meant to be together. We got married in 1975 because we couldn’t wait to start our life together.

We had an incredible holiday in Australia and we loved it so much we decided to migrate here in 1980. We found a beautiful family home where we lived happily for 36 years. We quickly made wonderful friends which I am happy to say I still have today.

John liked to stay busy and was a book-lover, so when he retired, he wrote three. He also volunteered in the book room at Lifeline, helping to cull, sort and price the books. He even organised the famous Northern Beaches Book Fairs. We travelled extensively – and celebrated our Ruby wedding anniversary by candlelit dinner at Uluru.

In 1993 I lost my dear twin sister, Rosemary, to breast cancer and it was heart-breaking, especially as she lived back in the UK. We got to share some special time together just before she died. Sadly, she left behind a husband and four small children.

When John was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, I was devastated. I couldn’t bear the thought that he would experience what Rosemary had to. John was very courageous and was determined to go through treatment. Thanks to cancer research, there were various therapies that gave us more time, but unfortunately, they couldn’t cure him. He never complained and was always positive.

In December 2016, John passed away and it is still very hard to grasp he is gone.

John left me a great legacy. He was a fabulous organiser and was famous for his Excel spreadsheets. Before he got too sick, he bought us a beautiful new home that is much smaller and suits me perfectly. When we moved in, we would sit together on the patio drinking our morning coffee, sharing the crossword. It gives me great happiness to carry on this tradition each day, although I no longer get John’s helpful clues and have to tackle the crossword alone.

John was my soulmate and my best friend. He was a true gentleman, an awesome father, grandfather, brother and a loyal friend to all. A friend of ours once called him the Rolls Royce of husbands and I couldn’t agree more.

I am very happy to help end cancer through ACRF. At John’s funeral, we arranged donations in lieu of flowers. I also donate each month via direct debit, and with my daughters’ full support I have left a gift to ACRF in my Will.” – ACRF Supporter, Ann

A world without cancer could be the legacy you leave behind to your loved ones. When you leave a gift in your will to Australian Cancer Research Foundation, you provide some of the greatest minds in the world with the vital tools they need to uncover new ways to treat and prevent over 200 types of cancer. 

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