An influencer who inspired Britain with her positive campaigning and brave outlook on life, despite battling stage four breast cancer, has died.
Known for her catchphrase, ‘go grab life’, Nicky Newman from Surrey shone a light on the importance of making the most of each day and ceasing every opportunity.
An emotional post shared by Nicky’s husband Alex on Instagram shared the tragic news that Nicky had passed away this week aged 35.
The post was previously penned by Nicky in preparation of her death: ‘If you’re reading this it means I have died, I made it 5 and half years though, not bad for a stage 4 breastie ey.’
Despite the heartbreaking news, Nicky remained upbeat in the post and continued to pursue her message to viewers: ‘GO GRAB LIFE! You never truly know what is coming around the corner – so don’t take anything for granted.’
Inspiring influencer Nicky Newman (pictured) has passed away from stage four metastatic breast cancer
Diagnosed with the disease in April 2018, the start of Nicky’s journey was rife with tragedy from the start
An emotional post shared by Nicky’s husband Alex on Instagram told the tragic news that Nicky had passed away this week aged 35
Nicky was diagnosed with cancer in April 2018, after finding a lump in her right breast while showering.
She said she knew in her gut that it was bad news.
In the space of a week, Nicky suffered a miscarriage and was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
But for Nicky, the real shock came one week after the diagnosis when she was told that the cancer had already spread, and it was incurable.
Regardless, she proceeded to do the unthinkable and channelled her diagnosis into bringing joy to the lives of over 300,000 strangers online.
The star took to Instagram to share her journey with the disease and to inspire others to ‘grab life’.
She maintained a busy life, travelling to exotic destinations with her friends and family and celebrating each milestone, no matter how small.
In the years of battling with the disease, Nicky married the love of her life, Alex, campaigned for charities, and captured the hearts of Britain.
Nicky was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2018 after finding a lump in her right breast in the shower
‘GRAB LIFE’: Nicky is pictured attending Future Dreams at the Roundhouse in London in March this year
Speaking about his wife, Nicky’s husband Alex said she ‘never accepted half measures, she took life with both hands and made each moment special and memorable’
It was just last month that Nicky shared further bad news about her treatment.
Taking to Instagram, she said: ‘I had prepared myself for progression, but not quite this much.
‘For the first time in 5 years my mets have packed their bags & moved to a new establishment called ‘Hotel Liver.’
Just weeks later, Nicky’s husband shared the tragic news of her passing, shocking her adoring fanbase, posting a statement the brave influencer had written before her death.
The post read: ‘If you’re reading this it means I have died, I made it 5 and half years though, not bad for a stage 4 breastie ey.
‘And none of this ‘she fought her battle nonsense’, I didn’t lose anything, the cancer eventually took over & that’s okay, we all knew this would happen.
Nicky’s husband Alex (pictured) shared the tragic news on Instagram with a pre-written post by his late wife
Despite the tragic diagnosis, Nicky proceeded to channel her experiences into bringing joy to the lives of over 300 thousand strangers
Since the diagnosis, Nicky made the most of each moment she had left, and coined the catchphrase ‘grab life’
Even in the post sharing news of her death, Nicky maintained a positive attitude and encouraged her followers to ‘grab life’
‘I don’t think we are ever prepared to hear the words, we think we are indestructible and a magic cure will appear, but the truth is we all live this life day to day (we just knew our days are shorter).
‘So please promise me to cherish those around you and give your friends and loved ones the biggest squeezes!
‘GO GRAB LIFE! You never truly know what is coming around the corner – so don’t take anything for granted.
• A change in size or shape
• A lump or area that feels thicker than the rest of the breast
• A change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (like the skin of an orange)
• A redness or rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
• Your nipple has become pulled in or looks different, for example changed its position or shape
• Liquid that comes from the nipple without squeezing
• Pain in your breast or your armpit that’s there all or almost all of the time
• A swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
‘You have all become a part of my legacy, my ‘Instagramily’ in MR.G’s words and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being here every step of the way.
‘There is more to come (with some amazing things in the works) that will aim to continue that legacy, so stick around and keep being the amazing bootiful hoomans you all already are!
‘I’m a believer in energies and if people hold on to the positive energy we have created from this and other pages like it, then I will always be with you.
‘Mr.G has some words to follow as we both wanted to do this part together x
‘Love you all my bootiful hoomans! Nicky.’
Shortly afterwards, her husband shared his own post on her page, writing: ‘What can I say that my incredible wife hasn’t already in her final post. Nicky asked me to send her message out, along with a few words from me.
‘My bean was more than a partner or loved one to me, she truly was my lobster.
‘We have known each other since we were 14 and throughout all the years (even when we had time apart) we were always inextricably drawn to each other.
‘A truly rare joining of souls that were simply meant to be one.
‘We’ve been asked before about why it is that we thought Nicky’s page here became so popular and that is obviously a very hard question to answer. I told my bean a few weeks ago that I think it is because –
‘People instantly love and are drawn to you because ever since diagnosis, at the worst time of our lives, we chose not to mourn the time we are losing but rather to celebrate and cherish the time that we have left – however long that may be’
‘Anyone that knew my wife knows this to be true. Nicky never accepted half measures, she took life with both hands and made each moment special and memorable.
‘She has created a legacy here, a place where anyone can see that life is for positivity and smiles and happiness. Even through hardship…even if it seems impossible.
‘Nicky has still got some incredible things to share on here and I am hoping you will stick around to see them come to fruition.
‘I will share it with you in her place, just as she would have wanted. I just ask you bare with me a little.’
He continued: ‘Last night there was a lightning storm right above our house, my girls way of reminding us to Go Grab Life and make it count.’
He finished his post by writing: ‘Love to every single one of you, be safe and be good to each other.’
Stars including Stacey Solomon and Amy Dowden went on to pay tribute to the influencer.
Amy, who is absent from the new series of Strictly while she undergoes treatment, praised Nicky for the awareness she raised.
She wrote: ‘The most beautiful ray of sunshine who has done so much and created a community and legacy that will live on.
Reaction: Stars including Amy Dowden, Julia Bradbury, Vicky Pattison and Giovanna Fletcher spoke highly of Nicky
‘I hope you know all the help and awareness you have done and will always continue to do so. I remember when I found out I needed a port your page I turned too!
‘I will forever hold onto your lovely voice notes and will always think of you when I say Welsh Love. Thank you for being utterly incredible and a TRUE INSPIRATION.
‘I promise to grab life and deeply miss your radiance and positivity X love to Mr G, your family, friends and huge community you created online.’
Stacey said she was ‘grateful to have known’ Nicky and promised she would take her advice to live life to the fullest.
She wrote: ‘Never has a star shone brighter. Absolutely heartbroken & devastated. Nicky thank you for everything…I’m so grateful to have known you. I promise to go grab life & make the most of every single second of every day.’
Symptoms of breast cancer to look out for include lumps and swellings, dimpling of the skin, changes in colour, discharge and a rash or crusting around the nipple
Checking your breasts should be part of your monthly routine so you notice any unusual changes. Simply rub and feel from top to bottom, in semi-circles and in a circular motion around your breast tissue to identify any abnormalities
Several other stars shared their condolensces including fellow influencer Sophie Hinchcliffe, better known as Mrs. Hinch.
She wrote: ‘I can’t believe the post I’ve just read. Like many others I have followed the incredible beautiful Nicky for a long time. She has inspired millions to see the positive in every single day, to see the sunshine through every storm.
‘Nicky you’ll be forever loved and forever remembered. Sending all my love to your incredible husband, family and friends.’
Giovanna Fletcher wrote: ‘You have inspired so many to go and grab life, just as you did whenever possible. Sending so much love to your loved ones.’
Vicky Pattison penned: ‘♥️ I’m lost for words. Beautiful words angel. Fly high,’ while Julia Bradbury added: ‘This is so so sad. Love to your family and friends.’
Jacqueline Jossa wrote: ‘Rest in peace’ with several heart emojis while former EastEnders star Melissa Suffield called Nicky ‘a truly fierce queen’.
Thousands of fans of Nicky have flocked to the comment section to pay tribute to the influencer.
One said: ‘Oh my gosh my heart hurts. I have watched you for I don’t know how many years and you have been a true inspiration. Nicky was an incredible incredible hooman and I am sending so so so much love.’
A second added: ‘I keep coming back to watch you! Listen to your voice, watch you dance! You really were something else Nicky!
‘The sunshine you were the lightning bolt you were the sunshine you were the rainbow there will never be another quite like you girl!’
Nicky’s fanbase have taken to the comment section to pay tribute to the late star and express their ‘immeasurable loss’
A third said: ‘I’m so upset right now Nicky you were a very bright light amongst the dark for me, and I will forever be thankful to you. I didn’t know you personally, but I felt I did.
‘I will grieve for you and miss you like a family member as you honestly just meant so much to us all.
‘Our gorgeous lightening bolt. Shine bright up there, our gorgeous Angel we love you forever.’
A fourth added: ‘I got stuck on the very first line for so long. Just sat here, frozen.
‘An outcome that we all were told would eventually unfold but still shocked me right to my gut a stranger across an ocean who’s light was contagious and message clear: ‘Go grab life’ What an immeasurable loss to the world and her family especially. We will take it from here, Nicky’
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and affects more than two MILLION women a year
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than 55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the US, it strikes 266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what causes it and how can it be treated?
What is breast cancer?
It comes from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.
When the breast cancer has spread into surrounding tissue it is called ‘invasive’. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.
Most cases develop in those over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can develop in men, though this is rare.
Staging indicates how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.
The cancerous cells are graded from low, which means a slow growth, to high, which is fast-growing. High-grade cancers are more likely to come back after they have first been treated.
What causes breast cancer?
A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply ‘out of control’.
Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, there are some risk factors that can increase the chance, such as genetics.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most are not cancerous and are fluid filled cysts, which are benign.
The first place that breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this occurs you will develop a swelling or lump in an armpit.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
- Initial assessment: A doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may do tests such as a mammography, a special x-ray of the breast tissue which can indicate the possibility of tumours.
- Biopsy: A biopsy is when a small sample of tissue is removed from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under a microscope to look for abnormal cells. The sample can confirm or rule out cancer.
If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the liver or a chest X-ray.
How is breast cancer treated?
Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments are used.
- Surgery: Breast-conserving surgery or the removal of the affected breast depending on the size of the tumour.
- Radiotherapy: A treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focused on cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or stops them from multiplying. It is mainly used in addition to surgery.
- Chemotherapy: A treatment of cancer by using anti-cancer drugs which kill cancer cells, or stop them from multiplying.
- Hormone treatments: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen, which can stimulate the cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments which reduce the level of these hormones, or prevent them from working, are commonly used in people with breast cancer.
How successful is treatment?
The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small, and has not spread. Surgical removal of a tumour in an early stage may then give a good chance of cure.
The routine mammography offered to women between the ages of 50 and 70 means more breast cancers are being diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
For more information visit breastcancernow.org or call its free helpline on 0808 800 6000