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Cancer battler loses life fight; Woman dies weeks after winning access to new wonder drug.

Byline: By Steve Johnson

A CANCER patient has lost her brave fight for life just weeks after winning her battle to be given a new wonder drug.

Grandmother Lorraine Knight, aged 54, of Lime Road, Wednesbury, was given the "best present ever" when Sandwell Primary Care Trust agreed to fund the use of cancerbusting drug Sutent.

But within weeks the mother-of-three died at home with her long-term partner John Lavender holding her hand.

John, aged 53, today revealed he would be naming their narrowboat Lady Loz in memory of Lorraine.

And he said he had decided that when he dies he wants their ashes to be scattered together in Melbourne, Australia, where they spent the holiday of a lifetime in 2006. Grieving John today described Lorraine as a "real fighter" who put up a terrific struggle in her battle with the disease.

"Lorraine, who I always called Loz, never stopped fighting and was overjoyed when she won her battle to get Sutent," he said.

"But sadly she did not live long enough to see the full benefits of the drug. "She had liver and kidney cancer and the Sutent could not halt the progress of the cancer - I suppose she was too far gone in the end."

But John today vowed to cling to his treasured memories and added: "I'm going to make sure the narrowboat we always dreamed of is named after her.

"I always called her Loz and it will be called Lady Loz. I told her before she died what I would do and she laughed.

"We also enjoyed a fantastic holiday together in Melbourne two years ago, before she fell ill, and we always said that one day we would live out there.

"I may still do that and when my time comes I want both mine and Lor-raine's ashes scattered there together."

Mr Lavender said he and Lorraine, who had three grown-up children and grandchildren, had lived together for 18 years.

Sutent is a drug still being considered by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Funding of the drug is not routine and each application for its use is treated on its own merits.

CAPTION(S):

NAME TRIBUTE... John Lavender aboard the narrowboat Lady Loz and (inset) his late partner Lorraine Knight. Main picture: Iain Findlay
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 2, 2008
Words:381
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