We say: Connie Johnson’s death has taught us many things

Connie Johnson – a woman who fought so bravely and publicly and whose brother made all other siblings shy in comparison – has lost her fight with cancer.

The country felt this loss as though it was one of their own family who died.

In the end, Connie began to outshine her arguably more famous brother, actor Samuel Johnson – and that was just the way he wanted it.

Their excitement, passion and enthusiasm through the darkest of times was admirable.

Samuel gave up his career to focus on Love Your Sister, a charitable organisation founded by Connie to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.

During the course of their crusade, Australia got glimpses of the beautiful relationship between this brother and sister.

Connie was the one who experienced pain, nausea and discomfort but she never made her illness about herself.

Whatever she was going through, she recognised hundreds of other women were experiencing the same and that’s who she chose to focus on.

She has raised more than $7 million for breast cancer research and most of this was from her bed.

She has encouraged a nation of women to be breast aware, to perform self examinations or visit a doctor and probably saved countless lives in the process.

Connie was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the final days before her death.

Samuel said she turned to him and said “Can you believe it? Can you believe it? Look what we did. We did something!”

Oh Connie, you did plenty before this moment and it has turned into the legacy you will leave behind.

Samuel has visited the Border and North East region a number of times, including a trip to Howlong last October, and the community that fought so hard for Albury-Wodonga’s cancer centre and one of the biggest supporters of the Relay For Life in Australia isn’t ready to give up just yet.

Before you think about posting a heart on your Facebook wall, consider what will really help in this situation.

A show of support is wonderful but funds towards cancer research is even better.

And what’s better than that?

Being body aware. Check your breasts and get any changes or abnormalities looked at.

To donate to Love Your Sister, visit www.loveyoursister.org.