Edmonton's Julie Rohr dies six years after cancer diagnosis
An Edmonton woman whose story led to a massive show of support across social media has died six years after her initial cancer diagnosis.
Julie Rohr's family confirmed the news from her Twitter account on Thursday afternoon. She was 38.
The thread of tweets thanked Rohr's supporters for being "part of her journey."
"So many of you went from being Twitter friends to real-life friends," the tweet read in part. "She was so grateful for that, for you, for the experience. She cherished your support and friendship."
The thread goes on to share Rohr's final wish, which was to tweet out a message to her friends.
"Friends, it’s been a wonderful life," Rohr's message read. "I leave with some sadness, of course; I wish I could have stayed with you much longer. I had so many memories to make, so much I still wanted to do, say and experience.
“But I leave this earthly world with no regrets - I have told the ones I love how much I love them, I have opened my heart to life and many of you have opened your hearts back to me in turn. My life experience has been rich and beauty-filled.
“Thank you for your support in the past years. My family & I have been incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love and encouragement from so many of you. I often said it lifted me above the pain and suffering of the disease I lived with.
"Cry for a time, however long that may be. Feel the grief you feel, as I allowed myself to do. Lean into the pain of goodbye. But eventually, lift your face towards the sun and allow joyful memories to be the lingering thought. Both and I hope I brought you joy.
"I hope I enriched your life experience. I hope my story inspired you to reach for strength & love even on the hardest, most painful days. Every day is a gift. May yours be full of beauty and wonder.
"This is goodbye for now. I leave you with some of my favourite poems, 'Epitaph,' by Merrit Malloy, & words of Mary Oliver. Be good to each other. Be kind to yourselves. May you open your heart to love even though it means inevitable pain.”
In 2015, Rohr was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that grows in smooth muscles. And last week, Rohr announced that she was moving to hospice care.
'TREMENDOUS INSPIRATION AND POSITIVITY'
During a Thursday afternoon media availability, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson reacted to Rohr's death, calling it "heartbreaking."
"But I think the reason it's heartbreaking is because of the gift that she and her friends and family have shared with us through her cancer journey, which is one of tremendous inspiration and positivity," he said.
"On behalf of the City of Edmonton, our hearts go out to Julie's family."
Earlier this week, Rohr's story garnered so much attention that it reached Schitt's Creek star Dan Levy who tweeted out a video to support her during her final days.
Levy's gesture was the first of several from Canadian celebrities including Ryan Reynolds and Rick Mercer.
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