Breast cancer advocate and recent recipient of an Order of Australia Medal Connie Johnson has today passed away from cancer, aged 40.
Connie’s brother, actor and Gold Logie winner Samuel Johnson, broke the news on the Facebook page for their charity Love Your Sister earlier tonight.
He wrote: “We lost Connie today. Or, as she asked me to say, she died of cancer today… I’m sad and sorry to be the one to tell you this, yet at the same time, as the Chief Custodian of my sister’s legacy, I also feel extremely grateful and proud.”
Samuel went on to talk about her last moments and to thank the community of people who have supported the pair of them and their efforts to raise millions of dollars for breast cancer awareness and research.
The heartfelt full post reads:
We lost Connie today. Or, as she asked me to say, she died of cancer today. It was so beautiful. We laughed, we cried, we sang stupid songs from our childhood to her, which she loved (mostly!). I read her so many village messages, which she relished. She went so richly, and with such grace. Trust me, she was genuinely cushioned by your love, till the end.
Smart people helped me build a place for us villagers to share our confusement. Please leave your tributes there, so our family can keep them forever? www.loveforconnie.org
I’m sad and sorry to be the one to tell you this, yet at the same time, as the Chief Custodian of my sister’s legacy, I also feel extremely grateful and proud.
I’m off to cuddle the fam and warmly embrace an exquisite whisky, in memory of my sister, who did so bloody well, from start to finish. Thanks for everything, Connie Cottonsocks. It was my pleasure to be your Sammy Seal.
Thank fuck for this village. See you on Connie’s tribute wall we built. xsammy
Earlier today, Connie was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her “services to our community and humanity” by the Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, who described her as “a determined, inspirational figure and a great Australian”.
The cancer which took her life was Connie’s third battle with the illness, after a first tumour was found in her leg at age 11. Doctors discovered another tumour in her womb when she was 22, and, in 2010, she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and told she had only six to 12 months to live. In April this year, Connie announced she was ceasing treatment, following a double mastectomy, radiation, chemotherapy and countless medical procedures. She was moved into hospice care in July.
The Johnson siblings’ fundraising efforts, including Connie’s final Big Heart Project, laying 3,951,000 five-cent coins in the shape of a love heart in Canberra and breaking the world record for the longest line of coins, have so far raised $5.6 million.
Sending our best wishes to Samuel and Connie’s family. <3