Connie Johnson, who founded the cancer charity Love Your Sister, has died just hours after she was presented with the Medal of the Order of Australia by the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.
Her brother, actor Samuel Johnson, announced her death on Facebook on Friday night saying her end “was so beautiful”. She died in a Canberra hospice having been diagnosed with terminal cancer seven years ago.
“We laughed, we cried, we sang stupid songs from our childhood to her, which she loved (mostly!). I read her so many village messages, which she relished. She went so richly, and with such grace. Trust me, she was genuinely cushioned by your love, till the end,” he wrote.
“Thanks for everything, Connie Cottonsocks. It was my pleasure to be your Sammy Seal.”
The mother of two was 40 and had her first brush with cancer aged just 11, again at 22, and once more, for the final time, at 33, on her eldest son’s Willoughby’s 4th birthday, when she was told she had breast cancer and a year to live.
The two siblings formed the charity Love your Sister raising more than for cancer research. Samuel Johnson raised $1.6 million riding a unicycle across Australia, an idea that started as a joke in the kitchen for his sister to set him the toughest challenge she could think of.
It was also a new Guinness World Record for the most distance travelled on a unicycle.
They wrote the book Love your Sister together, published in 2014, and when Samuel Johnson won the Gold Logie for his performance as Molly Meldrum, he dedicated it to his sister.
He’s set up a tribute website for his sister, loveforconnie.org.
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