This is heartbreaking.
When cervical cancer is detected at an early stage, the disease has a high survival rate. But by the time Louise Gleadell, a 38-year-old mom of three in the UK, was diagnosed, the cancer was more advanced—and sadly, she lost her life to it after a two-year battle on April 1.
It's not that Gleadell ignored her symptoms. When she reported them to her doctor, they were dismissed as side effects of recently giving birth and breastfeeding her youngest son, now 2, her family stated on her GoFundMe page.
“Never missed a smear test,” her sister Clare Gleadell wrote. “She visited her GP several times over several months—he dismissed her concerns as hormonal after the birth of baby Jude. Finally after a private scan, she was diagnosed and chemo and radio therapy followed.”
Following her diagnosis, Gleadell provided regular updates of her treatment on social media, introducing herself as "Louise, a 37-year-old mother to three beautiful boys."
After 12 weeks of “harsh treatment,” Gleadell wrote, she then noticed a lump in her neck, signaling her cancer spread. Doctors who initially said her cancer was curable realized they could only offer her palliative care.
“I left the hospital determined to do what I could to fight this and be with my boys for as long as I can be,” she wrote, adding that she is determined, "not to be a statistic.”
As time went on, her updates became more heartbreaking. In December, Louise shared a message with a photo of a note from her son that said, “To mum have an amazing Christmas and thank you for fighting for us…”
Encouraged by her sons, Gleadell kept up the battle. “Even with three beautiful boys to live for some days are hard when your body is broken and you can’t physically do what in your head you want to do,” she said. “When pain fills your body everyday it’s hard to keep focus and carry on but then every once in a while something triggers the fire.”
On Sunday, her family announced that she had died. “Our beautiful Louise passed away peacefully on Saturday morning surrounded by love. We are eternally grateful for all the love and support you all gave us over the last 2 years. Louise never ever gave up the fight- she did everything she possibly could to be here for as long as possible for her three boys. She is at peace now, and free from all the pain and suffering.”