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Legacy of Megan Smith who inspired thousands during cancer battle

Stirring more than 5,000 people into action, the plight of Kidderminster’s Megan Smith created a community spirit that saw well-wishers come together to give the young woman more hope and time.

Family friend Kenny Wilding even got a huge Boris Johnson tattoo on his stomach to raise cash, which he later followed up with one saying ‘Meg’s Army’ in May 2020.

A “true fighter”, “inspiration” and “one of a kind” are among the tributes to a woman who was diagnosed with rare rectal cancer at the age of 24 and given just six months to live. Instead she managed to survive until the age of 27, and died this week.

Read more: Inspirational Kidderminster cancer battler Megan Smith dies aged just 27

A friend left a touching tribute saying: “Meg, you have shown so many people what strength is, you have set an example for us all. Your positivity, radiant smile and outlook on life has rubbed off on so many. Even on your hardest and darkest of days you laughed and smiled! Really and truly one of a kind. A ray of sunshine in all our lives.”

Described as a “life and soul of the party”, that energy seen when out socialising was transferred to her battle to survive and in her own words, Megan said she was “fighting like hell”.

She confounded medics by surviving an extra three and a half years – thanks to heartfelt donations from everyday people in her Kidderminster hometown and beyond.

Kenny Wilding from Kidderminster who got a tattoo of Boris Johnson on his chest to raise money for Megan Smith

They raised the cash she needed to embark on expensive state-of-the-art treatment not available in the UK, but in America.

It was crowdfunding appeals, with sincere messages from her father Peter and brother Peej, that brought in over £140,000 and energised her hopes and fighting spirit.

Although, it was to be on US shores at her base in San Diego, where the 27-year-old from Worcestershire would die, it was after she had started the latest clinical trial that she was so keen to try.

Her brother Peej Smith said going to America was a big choice that “gave Megan nine months she would have never had in England, where we made the most memorable memories that will be cherished in our hearts for a lifetime.”

Among the tributes from family and friends including a comment: “You really will always live in the hearts of everyone you touched and the lives you’ve inspired and changed and we are so grateful for your strength and resilience.”

Megan gained worldwide followers through her Instagram account that inspired other cancer patients to have hope by telling her own story – the highs and the lows.

Fans would leave her encouraging messages including one follower who said: “Lovely hearing from you. Sorry to here that the numbers are showing the cancer is getting worse . But remembering that your a fighter and your going to keep kicking the cancers arse shows what kind of princess you are and that is a true WARRIOR PRINCESS.”

In Megan’s last post on August 25, she showed what it was like to have a radiotherapy mask fitted and was hopeful for the new treatment starting.

Rectal cancer in young patients only occurs in 0.2% that is 290 cases out of 145,000 people diagnosed. Megan has a rare type of mutation (KRASG12V) that only occurs in 8% of all rectal cancer patients, so her experiences were special to those others who had been told there was no other treatment left to give on the NHS.

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