After fighting cervical cancer for over a year, Sorcha Glenn, 22, died in her boyfriend's arms on Oct. 24, 2014. Her family was devastated by the loss, but Sorcha is giving her family one last holiday gift.
In the weeks before she died, Sorcha, who hailed from Derry, Ireland, completed all of her Christmas shopping for her friends and family. Her loved ones have not opened the presents yet.
What makes Sorcha’s death especially tragic is that she was initially denied a pap smear because she was too young, meaning the cancer was caught later than it should have been. She first went to her GP in June of 2013 and asked for an early smear test. However, as is typically the case in the U.K. when women under 25 ask for the exam, she was promptly rejected.
Sorcha’s parents did not tell her that her cancer was terminal in the weeks before she died, but Matt Lynch, Sorcha’s boyfriend, believes she knew and planned for the future. “Deep down we sometimes think she knew she didn't have long left,” he told Mirror. "She just wanted to make sure we were all happy on Christmas Day."
Lynch continued: "She kept on buying us all things while she was in hospital but she kept it all a secret. I still have no idea what she has brought me, so it will be bittersweet moment on Christmas day when I finally open my gift.”
Sorcha’s mother, Christina, said her daughter always loved Christmas. "It was a time of year she really enjoyed, and I know she wouldn't want us to be sad, but we all miss her terribly,” she said."I have no idea what she has bought me for Christmas, but it breaks my heart knowing she won't be here to share the day with us.”
Since her death, Sorcha’s family has been campaigning to allow young women to receive pap smears on demand, regardless of their age.
"Sorcha wanted to help others even when she was really ill in hospital, so we are campaigning in her name to try and save lives,” Christina said.