Cancer campaigner Connie Johnson has been remembered as an “amazing” woman who fought tirelessly to help others in the face of her own certain death.
And award-winning actor Samuel Johnson has vowed to “charge on the hill” and do his sister proud by ramping up their mission to end cancer for good.
At a moving service in Melbourne on Saturday, supporters filled St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate the life of the 40-year-old mother who died at a Canberra hospice on September 8.
Her husband Michael Johnson gave insight into his “amazing” wife’s battle with cancer and her relentless energy in spite of it.
“Con hated cancer,” he said.
“I saw this woman who was so weighed down by cancer, but still had the ability to lift so many of us.
“By actively dying, Con was able to teach so many of us about actively living.”
Connie’s death came a day after she received a Medal of the Order of Australia for her fundraising work through her charity Love Your Sister.
The memorial was packed with nearly 1000 people, while more watched the live-streamed event at nearby Federation Square.
Samuel Johnson said cancer “treats our millions with scorn” but his sister taught him it “absolutely can be cured”,
The Gold Logie winner said he would now take a break before continuing the fight.
“After I go to the river, have a cry and come back stronger, I’m going to accelerate like you haven’t seen,” he said.
“It’s up to me now to go to the corporate world.
“And once we’ve got everyone together, then we charge on the hill.”
Connie’s good friend Myf Warhurst hosted the memorial, while TV personality Carrie Bickmore, whose husband died of brain cancer in 2010, also made an emotional speech.