Woman, 19, tragically dies from rare cancer just before starting degree

A 19-year-old woman diagnosed with an incurable cancer has tragically died just before she was due to start her degree.

Rachel Osborne, from Bangor, Northern Ireland, found out she had a diffuse midline glioma – a fast-growing tumour – shortly after finishing her final year of school.

There is no cure for the rare spinal disease but her family raised an incredible £166,000 to help with treatment.

This allowed Rachel to visit the US late last year to take part in a four week drug trial.

But sadly, after an eight-month battle, her condition sharply deteriorated last week and she died peacefully on Sunday.

In the midst of their grief, Rachel’s mum and dad Susanne and Paul, are asking the public to support cancer research in a bid to prevent other families from suffering the same devastation.

In a year in which their daughter should have been enjoying student life studying anatomy in Glasgow, Rachel spent it between home and hospital surrounded by love and positivity and faced the future with determination and dignity.

Turning to social media to try to explain her ordeal, Rachel invited her friends, family and strangers to understand what she was going through and how she planned her fight.

Today she is remembered by thousands of people who wanted to help her, the youngest daughter of Paul and Susanne Osborne and sister to Rhiannon and Erin, with a message that she’s ‘much loved’.

A funeral notice said simply: “Rachel will be desperately missed forever.”

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