Con­nie John­son

Cancer war­rior never for­got­ten

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

She was a hero to thou­sands of Aussies, who were moved by her big heart and the tire­less way she and her brother Sa­muel fought to raise money for cancer re­search, even while she bat­tled the in­sid­i­ous disease her­self.

When Con­nie John­son sadly lost her fight with breast cancer, the na­tion was com­forted in the knowl­edge that Sam, her hus­band Mike, and their boys Wil­loughby, 11, and Hamil­ton, 10, will keep her mem­ory alive – to­gether.

“Hamil­ton is a mad uni­cy­clist, and we’ll do most of our griev­ing at the skate park,” Gold Lo­gie win­ner Sam tells Woman’s Day.

“Wil­loughby wants to run Love Your Sis­ter and is very fo­cused on the cancer co­nun­drum, which he calls ‘the hard­est Ru­bik’s cube in the whole world’.”

Known as “Un­cle Pud­dles” to his neph­ews, Sam says, “They’ll be OK. Wib and Ham have a great dad who has them cov­ered. Their base is strong and their sup­port net­work solid. I’ll just keep be­ing Un­cle Pud­dles, on stand-by for any ques­tions about Mum that might pop up. I’ve got good form with teenagers and I’m their man com­ing into this dif­fi­cult phase for them.”

Sam and Con­nie set the bar high as role mod­els for sib­ling re­la­tion­ships. The Se­cret Life Of Us star quit act­ing to fo­cus on the Love Your Sis­ter char­ity in sup­port of Con­nie and oth­ers. And he was by her side un­til the end.

On September 8, Sam an­nounced the sad news that 40-year-old Con­nie’s bat­tle had come to an end in a poignant post on the Love Your Sis­ter web­site, hours after she re­ceived the Medal of the Or­der of Aus­tralia for com­mu­nity ser­vice.

“It was so beau­ti­ful. We laughed, we cried, we sang stupid songs from our child­hood to her, which she loved (mostly!),” wrote Sam, 39. “Thanks for ev­ery­thing, Con­nie Cot­tonsocks. It was my plea­sure to be your Sammy Seal.”

Like any mum, Con­nie ad­mit­ted she was ter­ri­fied at the prospect of say­ing good­bye to her boys.

“When I got di­ag­nosed as ter­mi­nal, all I wanted and hoped for was to live long enough that my boys would re­mem­ber their mum,” Con­nie said.

“I got that, they know me, know how much I love them, and will al­ways re­mem­ber their mum. I def­i­nitely got my mir­a­cle!”

As a trib­ute to Con­nie’s won­der­ful work, Woman’s Day has do­nated a to­tal of $5000 to Love Your Sis­ter to help find a cure for cancer. To do­nate, visit lovey­our­sis­ter.org

‘Thanks for ev­ery­thing, Con­nie Cot­tonsocks’

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