{September 14, 2011}   Rosie



Her name is Rosie Kilburn. She died from cancer, but she wasn’t a sufferer.

She was the most inspiring person I’ve ever had the fortune to meet, and only a year older than myself.

With her it’s all about getting people to change the way they think about cancer – getting people to talk about it, not feeling afraid or uncomfortable. She started blogging about her experiences as soon as she was diagnosed back in ’08, and her story has been followed by local BBC.

I’ve known her since a year ago and have spent only 13 days actually in her company. The first 12 where on a fortnight’s acting course at Royal Welsh last summer, and the last a visit to her at home one month ago today. It seems amazing that anyone could have that kind of impact without being physically there, or without even emailing you more than 8 times (organising that last day). I feel almost wrong to call her my friend, as though I’m dishonouring people who knew her much better, but I suppose that’s the grief talking. Still it shows how someone doesn’t even have to be around to make an impact on another’s life. I barely knew her and I’m crying in my bed! She has a legacy to challenge people who have lived much longer, and reading the comments on her site it seems that every single person who even heard of her considers her to be the most inspiring person in their life. And by every single person, we’re talking in thousands.

I didn’t even know Rosie, but I will always remember, admire and love her.

Ironically, and wonderfully, I think Rosie’s death is going to lead a lot of us to living better lives – less fearful and more outwardly focused. I know that for me, the fact that this incredible 19 year old life has now ended gives me a whole new perspective on my life. I mean I’m a year younger than her, and if I died tomorrow, all I’d have to my name would be ‘loving & loved daughter’ and ‘went to school’. In a way it’s like her death is actually just another event in her life, and she’s still living on. It continues with her influence on others, her legacy, people who are inspired into better lives & actions because of her. The knowing that life isn’t about the fact that one day you’ll die, but the fact that today we’re alive. I’m sure she wouldn’t want it any other way.

I don’t know many other people who knew her or if they’ve been moved to any action yet, but I’m planning to set up various fundraising opportunities during my stay in Uni, all for cancer support & research. Perhaps I’ll end up with a blog-shop just like Rosie’s. All I know is I want to help continue the work that she was doing and help win the fight against cancer. And you know what? One day, we WILL win 🙂

Love you bunches :] xoxox




Jo says:

This is so lovely Harriet. Thank you.
Jo (Rosie’s mum)


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