Of the 18 years Michael Johnson knew his wife Connie, half were plagued by cancer.
Of the 40 years Connie lived, a third of those were spent fighting the disease.
“I knew Connie for 18 years and for almost half of that, she had cancer. Cancer loved Connie. Connie hated cancer,” Mr Johnson said at the public memorial for his late wife on Saturday afternoon in Melbourne.
Villagers of every age and every background and every story came to farewell the 40-year-old mum-of-two, who, with an army of friends and family by her side, created a community we now know as Love Your Sister.
“For a lot of this cancer journey, Con was looking out and I was looking in. My cancer experience was quite insular. My focus was on Con and the kids, providing stability and looking after them. So, it’s fair to say I was slow to see what Con was achieving and what was happening out in the world.
“But I began to see it, and I began to become inspired by what Con was able to do from a simple message and a few little raindrops of hope she would put out there.”
Mr Johnson also detailed in his eulogy how their wish to have a third child – a sibling for Willoughby, 11, and Hamilton, 10 – was crushed by the return of her cancer.
“What we thought was a baby in her womb, turned out to be a tumour in her womb,” he said.
“We had to walk from maternity to oncology. It took a lot for Con to come back from blows like that that."
Though outlining the ways cancer had a stranglehold on the family's lives, Mr Johnson also says her days were not without light, and a distinct desire to lift people up.
"I saw this woman so weighed down by cancer, still with the ability of lifting so many others up.
“Even today, by actively dying, Con was able to teach so many of us about actively living.
“[She was] a storm thundering into hearts across the nation, banging on doors, shaking on windows, saying ‘Wake up, live now, for now is awesome’."
More than anything, though, his message was for the villagers. The ones she may not have ever known, but that built a wall around her packed with love to keep her standing on her "darkest days".
“Connie had to look beyond her own cancer and her own diagnosis … she had to rise above this pain and sadness,” he said.
“I would like to say to anyone who supported Connie: it mattered. Every thought, click, prayer, it all counted.
“I saw Connie on dark, dark days and I saw you make her smile. I saw you light her up on days when nothing else was going to do it. So thank you so much for taking our Con into your hearts and wrapping your arms around this amazing woman.”