THE once healthy, happy Cleghorn girl Hazel Burns would have been celebrating her 26th birthday in a fortnight – if a deadly combination of cancer and ignorance hadn't killed her.
And although her grieving sister Sarah can't do anything to cure cancer, she has decided there IS something she can do to overcome the lack of knowledge and awareness – even among doctors – that contributed to Hazel's premature death.
The crusade she has joined in her younger sister's memory is to promote the new Bone Cancer Research Trust website, a service 27-year-old Sarah believes might have saved Hazel's life...if only it had been available when the first warning signs of the dreaded disease appeared just over three years ago.
Hazel's long, brave battle ended on November 16 last year.
However, the Lanimer Chief Maid in 1997, championship Highland dancer and a credit to any community lives on in the form of the inspiration she has given others to join the battle against cancer and ignorance.
For her name and spirit are being used to support Bone Cancer Awareness Week this week and the launch of the new website www.bcrt.org.uk which together should spread the word about the condition.
Said Sarah: "This is the type of information that we would have loved to have had when Hazel was diagnosed."
For more information on this story, pick up a copy of this week's Carluke and Lanark Gazette.