A CAMPAIGNER who gained a celebrity following and became an inspiration to people around the world has lost her battle with cancer.
Elizabeth Fallon, from Gosport, became known worldwide for her international campaign to raise money for research into cancer. And she gained high-profile backing from celebrities who backed her On The Road to Recovery campaign badges, designed to raise cash for cancer charities. She died last Saturday at the age of just 38. Known as Liz, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2008. After receiving treatment, she thought the cancer had gone, only to discover last year that it had returned and spread to her liver.
Liz’s On the Road to Recovery badges were worn around the world and she raised almost £2,500 for the Harbour Cancer Centre in Gosport.
US company Buttons of Hope offered to put her face and message on to 200 badges for free, and through that she made friends across the Atlantic who had cancer. The campaign became huge and celebrities such as Phillip Schofield, Dom Joly and Ant and Dec have been photographed with the badges. They have also been photographed in France, Spain, Hawaii and Australia.
Margaret Cokeley, Liz’s mum, said: ‘She was bubbly and friendly. She made everybody happy and everybody her friend. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for you.’
Margaret said her daughter’s battle with cancer was inspiring. ‘She dealt with it like a true heroine,’ said the 60-year-old from Brighton Avenue in Gosport.
‘She carried on as normal, it wasn’t going to get her. I’m absolutely proud of what she did. It all seemed so effortless for her.’
Liz’s dad Terry, 64, said: ‘She’s been inspirational to a lot of people. She was so confident that she was going to survive it. I’m so proud of her. She was a wonderful, special lady.’
Her brother Owen Cokeley, 33, who is about to become a father for the first time, said: ‘I’m devastated that she’s not going to meet her niece or nephew. She was my big sister, she looked after me always. She was brilliant.’
Lisa Moon, from Charlotte, North Carolina in America, is a cancer survivor who met Liz on Facebook. They went on to become close friends – and Lisa flew over last week to see Liz in her final days.
Lisa said: ‘She inspired me to go on. Her smile, her laugh, her sparkle and her passion for life and others is like no one I have ever met.’
Liz taught French and Spanish at Bay House School in Gosport. Headteacher Ian Potter said: ‘Liz was a talented teacher of French and Spanish who inspired pupils, students and colleagues with her enthusiasm, lively personality and innovative and exciting teaching methods. She made a significant contribution to the life of the school and we continue to see the positive impact of her influence.
‘Throughout her illness, she continued to inspire through her amazing charity and fundraising work.’