On Friday afternoon, via a status published on the Love Your Sister Facebook page, we learned that Connie Johnson had died.
Connie Johnson was good at proving doctors wrong.
At the age of 11 a tumour in her leg should have felled her; it didn’t. At the age of 22, she developed a tumour in her uterus, but still she went on to give birth to two healthy boys. At the age of 33, on her eldest’s fourth birthday, she was told to get her affairs in order. It was breast cancer this time; she had just months to live, a year at best.
Yet seven years passed since that day. And in that time Connie, with the help of her actor brother Samuel Johnson, became one of Australia’s most recognised, respected voices in the push for breast cancer awareness. Through her Love Your Sister charity, or ‘village’ as it has become known, she inspired countless women to “check their boobs” and raised over $4 million for medical research.
A phenomenal achievement, one that today has become her legacy.
In an announcement via social media, it was announced that Connie Johnson passed away at Clare Holland House hospice in Canberra on Friday afternoon.
"We lost Connie today. Or, as she asked me to say, she died of cancer today. It was so beautiful. We laughed, we cried, we sang stupid songs from our childhood to her, which she loved (mostly!)," the post read, "She went so richly, and with such grace. Trust me, she was genuinely cushioned by your love, till the end."
She was 40 years old.
Born Constance Johnson, Connie grew up alongside Samuel and their sister Hilde in Daylesford, Victoria, a spa town in the foothills of the Great Diving Range. The trio's mother took her own life when Connie was just a toddler, leaving them to be raised by their father, a writer and renovator.