A young mother who suffered from cancer is being honored after her decision to turn down chemotherapy to save her unborn child ultimately resulted in her losing her own life.
Gemma Nuttall died Sunday at age 29 after a five-year battle with an aggressive form of ovarian cancer, The Sun reported.
Nuttall was first diagnosed with the disease at her 16-week ultrasound visit, where doctors recommended she terminate her child so she could begin treatment. She refused, insisting on delaying treatment until after the birth of her child.
After her daughter, Penelope, was born, Nuttall began what would be an incredibly painful journey.
The brave mother’s story eventually caught the attention of Hollywood royalty, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, who raised funds to pay for Nuttall’s immunotherapy treatments. After some initial success, the cancer came back in full force, and the young mom was moved to hospice care earlier this month.
According to the Sun, Gemma’s mother, Helen Sproates, confirmed her daughter’s death over the weekend in a Facebook post.
“It is with an utterly broken heart that I have to tell you all that my beautiful warrior lost her battle early this morning,” Sproates wrote. “We fought so hard but we just couldn’t do it anymore – I am one very proud but devastated mum right now. Sleep tight Gemma – My world will never be the same again.”
“Gemma was such a beacon of strength and fought this battle so incredibly hard, with grace and dignity throughout,” Kate Winslet, whose own mother was battling the disease at the same time, told the Daily Mail following the tragic news. “It was a privilege for me to be let into her life for a brief time and to try and help. My heart breaks for her mum Helen and her daughter Penelope. They have lost a wonderful mother and daughter.”
Nuttall’s funeral will be held October 30, the Lancashire Telegraph reported. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that people donate to the Gemma Rose Foundation, which will help other families battling the deadly disease.