Visit the snow. Marvel at Uluru. Smell a lavender field and roam the Outback. Emma Rathie was determined to make the most of her final months until a brain tumour took her life yesterday on her 32nd birthday.
The single mum who lived in Townsville conquered four of the 10 things on her bucket list, according to the Townsville Bulletin.
Seriously – get the tissue box out. We usually report on what’s happening with the Australian education parameters, but we couldn’t help but post this heartwarming story today.
Emma’s mission began in July last year when she was diagnosed with an incurable tumour and given just 12 months to live.
Determined to leave behind precious memories for her 12-year-old son Blake, she made a list and set out to complete it.
The brave act inspired her family, captured the imagination of total strangers across the country, and drew the support of local businesses who helped her realise her dreams.
Emma and Blake stayed at a cattle station east of Uluru, went skiing at Falls Creek in Victoria and visited a lavender farm.
After a remarkable nine-day fight in Townsville Hospital’s palliative care unit to hold on long enough to celebrate her birthday, and defy doctors who predicted she would not live 12 months, she died early yesterday morning.
“It’s a life with no regrets,” mother Prue Neate said yesterday.
“The amount of things she’s done in her 32 years is unbelievable.
“I’m so proud of everything she achieved.”
Ms Neate said the family sang her Happy Birthday at midnight before she slipped away from them.
“On Saturday she slept all day and we thought she was building up her strength,” she said.
“We’d planned a party at Spiritual Gardens but she started to deteriorate.
“We were shocked.
“Blake’s father Harry flew in from Sydney but she made it to midnight and we sang her Happy Birthday.”
More than $20,000 was raised to help the Townsville mum achieve her goals.
In January she patted dolphins and tigers on the Gold Coast.
In June she learnt to ski at Falls Creek with a disability support group.
In August she was meant to take a cruise and go horse riding on Magnetic Island, No.3 and No.8 on her bucket list, but had to cancel after undergoing traumatic surgery in Sydney for a second time to remove more tumours.
The former Thuringowa State High School student, Cowboys cheerleader, vet nurse and manager of a horse riding school for the disabled was a go-getter.
“Emma saw everything in life as a challenge and she strived to be the best,” father Paul Neate said.
“She’d see something and bang, she’d do it. She did everything for Blakey.
“You only had to look at the Facebook page to see all the support she had from people around the country.
“It gave her the willpower to continue on and complete her wish list for Blake.”
Zoemaree Harris, who led the fundraising effort after reading about Ms Rathie’s mission on Facebook, said she was an inspiration.
“She inspired me to be a better person, doing things today and not putting them off,” she said.
Emma obviously had a soft heart for animals. If you do, too, then learn more about Australian Veterinary Schools in Australia.