Cancer claims a brave and remarkable fighter

THE loving glow Jess Ainscough radiated throughout her life was reflected in the warm words of her friends.

As they spoke of the Sunshine Coast's own "Wellness Warrior" yesterday, less than 48 hours after the 29-year-old's death, their belief in the strength and importance in her message of living life to its fullest was clear. Close friend Cyndi O'Meara, who was present with friends and family when Ms Ainscough passed away on Thursday, said "she was just beautiful, the most amazing woman".

"It was very peaceful. We formed a beautiful circle of love around her," Mrs O'Meara said, adding that the social media response from around the world had been immense and touching.

"THE outpouring of love for her from around the world is amazing."

Ms Ainscough was a high-flying city journalist when she was diagnosed with a rare, incurable cancer at just 22.

She was told her only chance at prolonging her life would be to amputate her left arm.

Instead she moved back to the Sunshine Coast, began dedicating her life to healing her body using natural treatments and created popular website The Wellness Warrior.

"She was quite ahead of her time and also very articulate" Mrs O'Meara said.

"I remember reading her first blogs and she was so engaging in how she verbalised what she said.

"She lived well, she was out there all the time, travelling, speaking and laughing the day before she passed away."

The nutritionist formed a close relationship with Ms Ainscough from the moment they became friends four years ago.

Ms Ainscough's friends said she was about to celebrate her 30th birthday and had been doing well despite her cancer battle and losing her mother, Sharyn, to breast cancer along the way.

"She had to turn her life around and did it with such grace and beauty - I can't fault her," Mrs O'Meara said.

"She could have beat this, but she lost her mum and that's such a tough thing to lose your mum."

Sadly, Ms Ainscough and her fiancé, Tallon Pamenter, were due to be married this year.

"She had a man who absolutely loved her ... Tallon was her strength," Mrs O'Meara said.

"He was just so in love with her and it's tough on him, as it is for her dad."

Yet Ms Ainscough's friends are inspired by the young woman's legacy.

Speech coach Carran Smith, said she was constantly motivated by the life lessons Ms Ainscough shared with others.

"When I look at my experience with Jess, I feel like the luckiest person in the world," she said.

In her final post on The Wellness Warrior blog on December 16, Ms Ainscough was honest and open about her situation.

"This year absolutely brought me to my knees. I've been challenged, frightened, and cracked open in ways I never had before," she wrote. "After my mum died at the end of last year, my heart was shattered and it's still in a million pieces. I had no idea how to function without her, and it turns out my body didn't either.

"For the first time in my almost seven-year journey with cancer, this year I've been really unwell."

Ms Ainscough's funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.

Topics:  cancer editors picks

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