Melbourne mum, Sara Chivers has lost her battle with brain cancer, ten months after her diagnosis and just four months after her toddler son was also diagnosed with a rare brain cancer.
Surrounded by loved ones, the inspirational mother – whose heartbreak has touched the world – said goodbye to her two sons and loving husband for the last time on 28 January, 2018.
It’s been a tumultuous ten months for Sara Chivers. In March 2017 she was diagnosed with three aggressive brain tumours, which, she was told, would kill her.
‘The question isn’t whether I will die from this disease, it’s when’
As Sara prepared to say goodbye to her family, sons Hugh and Alfie, and loving husband, Leigh, the Chivers family were dealt another heartbreaking blow – six months after Sara’s diagnosis, 18-month-old Alfie, was also diagnosed with a rare brain cancer.
Since his diagnosis, little Alfie has been through three separate surgeries to remove the fluid from his brain. He has lost the ability to walk and talk and is receiving treatment in a palliative care centre.
In December, Sara moved into the same centre as Alfie. Despite facing her own battle, she spent her last months raising awareness about brain cancer to help find a cure for Alife.
In what is the cruellest twist of fate, Alfie has been diagnosed with brain cancer. He underwent nearly 12 hours of surgery earlier in the week, and will require further surgery and treatment to control it. We are in complete disbelief; our hearts are broken. He has been amazing throughout the most devastating week of our lives…the true champion this weekend. ❤️
Saying goodbye to her boys
The pain this family has endured is heartbreaking, unfair and incomprehensible to say the least. But, through the entire journey Sara has remained positive for her boys. Sara’s letter to her sons proves the strength of a mother’s love knows no limits.
If you haven’t read her letter yet, please, take the time to do so.
‘I have so much grief for a life I won’t be living’
Recently Sara shared her heartbreaking journey with Vogue Australia. The feature story went on sale January 29 2018, one day after she passed. Sara tells of her love for her boys, her admiration for her husband and her acceptance that cancer will win.
Sara Chivers was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, just before discovering her 18-month-old son also had a brain tumour. Sara shared her moving story in our February issue, a feature and shoot that was a bucket list dream for the mum of two, just months before passing away on Sunday, January 28. Vogue would like to pay tribute to Sara as we have been both inspired and saddened by Sara's battle and thank her and her family for bravely sharing her story. Read Sara's story as told to Kate Halfpenny before her passing, via the link in the bio. Photographed by @justinridler, styled by @pettachua, Vogue Australia, February 2018.
As Sara so eloquently explains,
“It’s surreal to know I have been given such a short life time frame. To know I won’t get to see Hugh and Alfie start school, graduate, forge careers, find partners, get married, have their own children.
It’s surreal to know I won’t see old age. And that I will leave Leigh a single dad.
I have so much grief for a life I won’t be living.
Underneath the complexity and sadness of our situation, I believe nothing can be wholly good or bad unless we choose or decide it is this way. I must let go of my previous life and absorb that the odds are no longer in my favour.
I hope by telling my story, I can help change this for Alfie and those yet to be diagnosed.”