Real Life

Kiwi girl finds love but dies after long cancer battle

The 26-year-old Kiwi had battled with cancer for half of her short life.
Holly Joy Devine

Holly Joy Devine

A young Kiwi woman has lost her battle with cancer, despite the dedicated efforts of friends to save her.

Holly Joy Devine, who was first diagnosed with cancer at just 13 years of age, passed away in Auckland on Friday – before she could get last minute treatment abroad.

Despite her devastating diagnosis, friends and family say Holly never gave up, and even found love in her final 8 months with partner Dan.

Even in the last days of her life, Holly’s friends were tirelessly fundraising in order to get her to Thailand – where an experimental treatment was her last shot at survival.

But despite raising $72,500 towards her treatment, on Friday it was sadly confirmed that Holly had passed.

Holly was just 26 when she passed away last week

Holly received her first cancer diagnosis at 13, but beat it and went into remission months later. Four years later it returned – only for her to beat it once more. After this, Devine enjoyed a six year remission during which time she travelled to Europe and lived in Western Australia.

But a sore ear revealed that her cancer had returned, and she came back to New Zealand for treatment in 2012.

By 2013, Devine was told that her cancer had spread around her body, and she started her final fight against the disease. Positive until the end, Holly posted an inspiring message to her Facebook page just a day before her death.

“If it’s worth it don’t give up. Keep fighting to reach your goals,” she wrote.

Holly’s send off will take place on the North Shore, Auckland, this Thursday. Funds donated towards her treatment will be used for the funeral, and anything left over will be given to charity.

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