The parents of a woman who died after a five-year battle with cancer have invited her 54,000 Instagram followers to attend her funeral.
Monique-Lianne Buckingham, of Colchester, died tragically on November 3 at the age of 26.
After being diagnosed with advanced colon cancer, Monique began documenting her treatment and daily life with the disease on Instagram in October 2019.
Between 2017 and 2022, Monique underwent 92 cycles of chemotherapy and a hysterectomy after the cancer had spread to her uterus and ovaries.
Monique’s parents, Paul and Anne, announced the sad news on Instagram yesterday, saying that their daughter has “never lost her joie de vivre” and that they were in her last moments in bed last week.
Monique-Lianne Buckingham, from Colchester, died last week at the age of 26 after a five-year battle with advanced colon cancer. Monique’s parents shared this photo of their daughter with her dog to let her 54,000 Instagram followers know about the tragic news
Monique’s mother explained that her daughter “never lost her zest for life” despite her grueling cancer treatment. The couple pictured in October 2022 when Monique was in ‘continuous severe pain’ due to liver dysfunction
Monique photographed taking a break from her treatment and enjoying an ice cream in the sun in April 2022. In the caption of this post, the 26-year-old explained, “Apart from the main symptoms associated with my bowel obstruction, this new wave of nausea and bouts of abdominal pain I’ve been experiencing has been severely debilitating.”
Anne wrote: ‘She fell asleep side by side holding my hand with her father also on her bed.
‘Never give up and fight to the end, Monique never lost her zest for life and hoped one day she would return home, like all of us.
Anne describes how her daughter cherished her ‘Insta family’ and continued: ‘Your kind comments and gifts brought smiles, warmth and excitement into an often sad and clinical existence.
“She was very proud of her Insta community and the love and kindness you all generated and shared.”
Monique in the picture with her father Paul in the hospital. Her parents revealed they were at her bedside in her last moments
Over the course of her five-year cancer treatment, Monique underwent 92 cycles of chemotherapy and a hysterectomy after the cancer spread to her uterus and ovaries. Monique photographed Christmas Day in the hospital last year
That’s why Monique’s parents have now invited their daughter’s social media followers to attend her funeral in her hometown of Essex in December.
Symptoms of colon cancer:
– Change in bowel habits with diarrhea, constipation or feeling of incomplete emptying
– Thin or loose stools
– Blood or mucus in the stool
– Abdominal pain, bloating and cramps
– Anal or rectal pain
– lump in anus or rectum
– Unexplained weight loss
– Unexplained anemia
Source: Cancer Council Australia
Her mother continued: ‘She would have been so humbled to have met all of you, so we invite you to attend her funeral and follow her latest journey through her hometown. It would be a great honor for her to have you there.’
Monique’s parents’ post has now racked up more than 24,000 “likes” on Instagram and has prompted followers to leave heartbreaking tributes in the comments.
“I’m sorry to read this,” someone replied. ‘She was a beautiful woman, who showed such courage and strength in spite of everything she went through. I send you all so much love.’
“She deserved so much more than what she got,” added another. “I’m sorry you lost your beautiful girl. Condolences to the whole family.’
‘It is with a heavy heart to read this. What an incredible woman she was, always so cheerful and she wanted to spread awareness even in her darkest days,” said a third. “I can’t imagine the pain you are going through as a parent, my heart really goes out to both of you.”
Speaking with the Gazette News in February 2022, Monique’s parents explained how their daughter had also undergone hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) in July 2020, which uses heat to attack the cancer cells.
However, it wasn’t until the 14-hour procedure that surgeons discovered how far Monqique’s cancer had spread, and the 26-year-old ended up having 90 percent of her bowel removed, as well as two-thirds of her colon.
In late 2021, Monique was hospitalized again after discovering that the cancer had caused a bowel obstruction.
At the time of the interview, Monique’s parents were trying to raise £500,000 for their daughter to participate in clinical trials in the US after doctors in the UK placed her on an end-of-life care programme.
Her father Paul said: “The whole family is shocked by this catastrophic development, but our strong, brave, beautiful daughter is just not willing to give up her life, no matter how painful and limiting it may be.”
In their last post before Monqiue died, her mother explained how her daughter was in “continuous severe pain” from liver dysfunction, yet took the opportunity to step outside “with all her might” in a wheelchair for some fresh air.
Anne added: ‘We are so thankful that she was able to breathe some fresh air and actually had her day somewhat normal despite the pain. Monique sends her love and gratitude as always, just like us.’