Sunday, June 22, 2008

Our Sisters, Our Selves. R.I.P. Jane McGrath

Can't help but be moved by the death of Jane McGrath this week, after complications from surgery for secondary cancers. If it's easy, sometimes, to mock the WAGs of international football and cricketing stars, here was a woman who faced breast cancer and its ghastly aftermath with courage and grace.

When I was given my passport to the country of illness, it was inevitable to look around me and acknowledge my travelling companions. Over the months of waiting in doctor's rooms, I read more than enough trashy mags, but always poured over stories about Kylie, Belinda, Jane. Of course all these accounts are heavily mediated, but the McGrath story always moved me, because the two of them just seemed so matter-of-fact about it all. And it was fascinating to get a glimpse of the non-cricketing side of Glenn McGrath. Sports gossip says he has a tremendous temper, but there was no sign of it in their dignified accounts of their struggle. Jane McGrath was only 42 when she died, but she and her husband established a foundation which raises money, very practically, for specialist breast care nurses, especially in regional areas.

I shuddered when I first heard the news this afternoon, and when we were watching the tv news tonight, I had to hold in a little sob. She leaves behind a loving husband and two young children. Requiescat in pace.

2 comments:

Elsewhere007 said...

Glad you said something. I was very impressed by her on Enough Rope earlier this year. She's also the same age as me, which is somehow always more sobering.

Ampersand Duck said...

I feel for her family, and for her.

On another level, my instant reaction when Glenn asked for a bit of privacy for his family was a sense of grumpiness that, as a SPORTS hero, he'll bloody well get the privacy. If he were any other kind of celebrity, that request would be completely ignored. Hmmm.