A mother who thought she had a chest infection has died of lung cancer 12 years after beating the disease.
Julie Newman, 44, from Hull, lost her battle after the cancer spread to her bones and brain within a year.
She had spent years campaigning the importance of getting a smear test to other women after beating cervical cancer in 2007.
Initially she thought she had irregular periods before the shock diagnosis after a screening she was almost a year late for.
The grandmother’s family, who said she ‘lit up everyone’s world’, are hoping to get fans of Hull KR to clap for a minute in her memory on Sunday’s match.
Julie Newman, 44, lost her battle in March after what she believed to be a chest infection turned out to be lung cancer, 12 years after she beat cervical cancer
Ms Newman had spent years campaigning the importance of getting a smear test to other women after beating cervical cancer in 2007. Pictured at a charity event
Ms Newman, mother to Charlie, 26 and Georgia, 23, has been described by her family as a devoted mother, wife and grandmother.
Georgia said: ‘She was just really family orientated, she always wanted to be with the family.
‘She absolutely was just there, day in, day out, no matter what time, we were her world. She took her last breath with us there.
‘She lit up everyone’s world and turned heads wherever she went. As soon as you met her you liked her. She was down to Earth and she got on with everyone.
‘Everywhere she went she made friends – all over the world. Every time she could she would be globe-trotting.’
Ms Newman endured chemotherapy, radiotherapy and internal radiotherapy for her cervical cancer.
After beating the cancer, Ms Newman became an inspiration to other women with the disease.
She trained with charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and opened a Hull branch at St Aidan’s Church in Southcoates Avenue, east Hull.
At the time, Ms Newman told Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust: ‘I had also been bleeding consistently for the past 18 months but had always put this down to irregular periods.
‘Finally I booked myself a cervical screening test and following results I had a phone call inviting me to colposcopy. One week later I was told I had cervical cancer.
‘I didn’t know anything about the disease and if I had I would have acted sooner.
‘Similarly if I had attended my cervical screening test when it was due, the cancer would have been detected earlier and may not have been so advanced.’
Ms Newman campaigned for other women to get regular smear tests and worked on a voluntary basis to help increase awareness of the condition.
Ms Newman was a devoted mother and grandmother who ‘lit up everyone’s world’
Ms Newman, pictured with family, was shocked to learn she had cancer again in February 2018 after being clear for so long. She died in March, surrounded by family
Georgia said: ‘Helping others was a big thing for my mum.
‘She was dedicated to helping others. She did it voluntarily because that is what she wanted to do.
‘We did charity walks and she did lots of interviews with magazines and papers.’
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF LUNG CANCER?
Symptoms of lung cancer develop as the condition progresses and there are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages.
The main symptoms of lung cancer include:
- a cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks
- a long-standing cough that gets worse persistent
- chest infections
- coughing up blood an ache or pain when breathing or coughing
- persistent breathlessness
- persistent tiredness or lack of energy
- loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
If you have any of these, you should see your GP.
Less common symptoms of lung cancer include:
- changes in the appearance of your fingers, such as becoming more curved or their ends becoming larger (this is known as finger clubbing)
- a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
- difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
- a hoarse voice swelling of your face or neck
- persistent chest or shoulder pain
After being cancer free for so long, she was shocked and devastated to learn she had cancer again in February 2018 after falling ill in October 2017.
Last August she had a seizure and was given just eight weeks to live. But she fought the illness for a further seven months until her death on March 6 this year.
She died at home, surrounded by her family.
‘Mum fought until the end,’ said Georgia, a mother of one. ‘We had a really good Christmas with her, she was all mobile until a couple of weeks ago.
‘Mum was very proud. She didn’t want strangers seeing her the way she was, so we looked after her around the clock as a family. Towards the end the Macmillan team came in to help.
‘She stayed brave for us, she didn’t want to panic us. But deep down my mum didn’t want to die, she didn’t want to go. Both my mum’s parents are still here.
‘It is so devastating, we knew the day was coming. It was just awful.’
In more recent years, Ms Newman, who was grandmother to Logan, 10, Connie-Leigh, six, Aston, five and Ronni-Willow, three, was a Hull KR fan.
The family have launched an appeal to have Hull KR fans applaud at the game on Sunday when the team play The Catalans Dragons at the KCOM Craven Park.
They want fans to clap for a minute, in the 44th minute of the game.
‘Mum was Rovers through and through, it was a big part of her life,’ said Georgia.
‘We asked the club if we could do a minute’s silence at the next game but they can only do it once a year, which we totally understand, rules are rules.
‘If they did it for everyone it would be silent every week. So instead we want everyone to do a round of applause in the 44th minute at the next home game this Sunday.
‘We’ve had some banners made and we will all be taking a flag. She was dedicated to Rovers so this is one thing – the least she deserves.’
WHAT IS A SMEAR TEST?
A smear test detects abnormal cells on the cervix, which is the entrance to the uterus from the vagina.
Removing these cells can prevent cervical cancer.
Most test results come back clear, however, one in 20 women show abnormal changes to the cells of their cervix.
In some cases, these need to be removed or can become cancerous.
Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix can be identified at an early stage and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing (stock)
Cervical cancer most commonly affects sexually-active women aged between 30 and 45.
In the UK, the NHS Cervical Screening Programme invites women aged 25-to-49 for a smear every three years, those aged 50 to 60 every five years, and women over 65 if they have not been screened since 50 or have previously had abnormal results.
Women must be registered with a GP to be invited for a test.
In the US, tests start when women turn 21 and are carried out every three years until they reach 65.
Changes in cervical cells are often caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can be transmitted during sex.
In January 2018, women shared selfies with smeared lipstick on social media to raise awareness of the importance of getting tested for cervical cancer in a campaign started by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
Celebrities including model and socialite Tamara Ecclestone, former I’m A Celebrity! star Rebekah Vardy and ex-Emmerdale actress Gaynor Faye joined in to support the #SmearForSmear campaign.
Socialite Tamara Ecclestone supported the Jo’s Trust’s #SmearForSmear campaign