Dame Deborah James’s podcast co-host says she’s ‘crying lightning’ as she pays tribute post to influencer Nicky Newman following her death aged 35

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Dame Deborah James’s podcast co-host says she’s ‘crying lightning’ as she pays tribute post to influencer Nicky Newman following her death aged 35

Dame Deborah James' podcast co-host has shared a sweet tribute to influencer Nicky Newman, who died this week.  Lauren Mahon, who prese

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Dame Deborah James’ podcast co-host has shared a sweet tribute to influencer Nicky Newman, who died this week.  

Lauren Mahon, who presented You, Me and the Big C, alongside the late cancer campaigner said that she had been ‘crying lightning’ since hearing the news.   

Ms Newman inspired Britain with her positive campaigning and brave outlook on life, passed away aged 35, following a gruelling battle with stage four breast cancer.

In a lengthy tribute posted to Instagram, Lauren, 38, who has also been diagnosed with breast cancer, and who worked alongside Dame Deborah James before she passed away from cancer in 2022, said she was ‘heartbroken’ her friend had passed away, she was also ‘grateful’ that she was now at ‘peace’.

She recalled the moment she ‘knew’ her pal had moved on, describing the sky as ‘electric’ with ‘non stop lightning’, which she took as a sign to confirm the tragic news. 

Dame Deborah James' podcast co-host has shared a sweet tribute to influencer Nicky Newman, who died this week

Dame Deborah James' podcast co-host has shared a sweet tribute to influencer Nicky Newman, who died this week

Dame Deborah James’ podcast co-host has shared a sweet tribute to influencer Nicky Newman, who died this week 

Lauren Mahon, who presented You, Me and the Big C, alongside the late cancer campaigner said that she had been 'crying lightning' since hearing the news

Lauren Mahon, who presented You, Me and the Big C, alongside the late cancer campaigner said that she had been 'crying lightning' since hearing the news

Lauren Mahon, who presented You, Me and the Big C, alongside the late cancer campaigner said that she had been ‘crying lightning’ since hearing the news 

Nicky's husband Alex (pictured) shared the tragic news on Instagram with a pre-written post by his late wife

Nicky's husband Alex (pictured) shared the tragic news on Instagram with a pre-written post by his late wife

Nicky’s husband Alex (pictured) shared the tragic news on Instagram with a pre-written post by his late wife

Alongside the glowing tribute, she posted a black and white photo of the pair embraced in a heartwarming hug. 

She wrote: ‘Crying lightning, f**k sake. Our Nicky new. There are so many pictures. Videos. Voicenotes. Messages. I could post.

‘But this hug. for some reason is etched in my memory. The joy. The love. The comfort. You always had the best hugs because you always really meant them.

‘To be greeted by your smile was to instantly adore you. I fell at first sight for sure. Initially when I saw you on Instagram, my thought was nobody can be that happy.

‘That effervescent, so performative. But oh f**king wrong I was. An electricity to your core. You were the hype girl of the entire cancer community’.

She continued to praise her lost friend, who she said ‘never missed a beat’. She also described her chirpy personality at length, and commended her strength despite her own ‘struggles’.

She then poured out condolences for Nicky’s husband Alex, as well as her family and friends, and said Nicky should be ‘utterly proud’ of the legacy she left behind.

She continued: ‘I’m grateful you’re at peace but heartbroken you’re gone. You’ve been such a big energy in my life the last five.

‘It’s palpable that you’ve left. I knew it last night waking up from sleep because my room was alight with non-stop lightning.

In the emotional post, Lauren recalled the moment she 'knew' her pal had moved on, describing the sky as 'electric' with 'non stop lightning', which she took as a sign to confirm the tragic news

In the emotional post, Lauren recalled the moment she 'knew' her pal had moved on, describing the sky as 'electric' with 'non stop lightning', which she took as a sign to confirm the tragic news

In the emotional post, Lauren recalled the moment she ‘knew’ her pal had moved on, describing the sky as ‘electric’ with ‘non stop lightning’, which she took as a sign to confirm the tragic news

‘Nothing I’ve ever beheld in blighty. The sky was electric. It felt like you were our little lightning bolt to the point I messaged our pals. Did they have news? Because it felt so powerful.

‘And they confirmed giving me the only comfort I’ve found during today. Your life and now your legacy is something you should be so utterly proud of’.

An emotional Lauren continued to recount their time together, while revealing that Nicky always inspired her, and she would give ‘anything’ to ‘squeeze’ her again.

‘I love you too much’ she concluded. ‘You always would say you loved me more and wouldn’t hear otherwise.

‘Today I know with certainty how much more you are loved’.

Symptoms of breast cancer to look out for include lumps and swellings, dimpling of the skin, changes in colour, discharge and a rash or crusting around the nipple

Symptoms of breast cancer to look out for include lumps and swellings, dimpling of the skin, changes in colour, discharge and a rash or crusting around the nipple

Symptoms of breast cancer to look out for include lumps and swellings, dimpling of the skin, changes in colour, discharge and a rash or crusting around the nipple

The post received an outpouring of support, as people sent heartfelt messages to a grieving Lauren.

Nicky Newman, from Surrey, shone a light on the importance of making the most of each day, and seizing every opportunity. 

Her death was announced on Instagram via a post she had earlier written, which was shared by her husband Alex. 

The opening line of the post read: ‘If you’re reading this it means I have died, I made it five and half years though, not bad for a stage four breastie ey.’

Even in her final words to her followers, Nicky remained upbeat in her tone and the message she shared, imploring readers to ‘go grab life’, and reminding them that ‘you never truly know what is coming around the corner – so don’t take anything for granted’.

Influencer Nicky Newman (pictured) died from stage four metastatic breast cancer. She was 35-years-old

Influencer Nicky Newman (pictured) died from stage four metastatic breast cancer. She was 35-years-old

Influencer Nicky Newman (pictured) died from stage four metastatic breast cancer. She was 35-years-old

Checking your breasts should be part of your monthly routine so you notice any unusual changes. Simply rub and feel from top to bottom, in semi-circles and in a circular motion around your breast tissue to identify any abnormalities

Checking your breasts should be part of your monthly routine so you notice any unusual changes. Simply rub and feel from top to bottom, in semi-circles and in a circular motion around your breast tissue to identify any abnormalities

Checking your breasts should be part of your monthly routine so you notice any unusual changes. Simply rub and feel from top to bottom, in semi-circles and in a circular motion around your breast tissue to identify any abnormalities

A number of celebrities went on to pay tribute to the influencer in the comments section of the post, including Amy Dowden and Stacey Solomon.

Nicky, who worked in admin for a finance company before her diagnosis, was told she had cancer in April 2018, after finding a lump in her right breast while showering.

Eight most common signs of breast cancer

• A change in size or shape

• A lump or area that feels thicker than the rest of the breast

• A change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (like the skin of an orange)

• A redness or rash on the skin and/or around the nipple

• Your nipple has become pulled in or looks different, for example changed its position or shape

• Liquid that comes from the nipple without squeezing

• Pain in your breast or your armpit that’s there all or almost all of the time

• A swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone

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She said she knew in her gut that it was bad news.

In the space of a week, Nicky suffered a miscarriage, and was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

But for Nicky, the real shock came one week after the diagnosis, when she was given further bad news.

The cancer had already spread, and tragically, it was incurable.

Despite the news, in a testament to her character and courage, Nicky decided to document her treatment, capturing the attention of some 300,000 followers online with whom she shared her life, and in doing so, often brought them joy as well as raising awareness.

The message Nicky spread as she shared her journey with the disease was to ‘grab life’.

And she took her own advice: Nicky maintained a busy life, travelling to exotic destinations with her friends and family, and celebrated each milestone, no matter how small.

While living with cancer, Nicky married the love of her life, Alex, campaigned for charities, and captured the hearts of Britain.

She also raised awareness for organisations like The Little Princess Trust, when she shaved her head after starting chemo, so the hair could be donated to make a wig for a child with cancer.

Throughout her illness, Nicky kept her followers up to date with news about her treatment and how she was feeling.

It was just last month that she shared unwanted bad news about her health.

Taking to Instagram, she wrote: ‘I had prepared myself for progression, but not quite this much.

‘For the first time in five  years my mets have packed their bags & moved to a new establishment called ‘Hotel Liver.’

Just weeks later, Nicky’s husband shared the tragic news of her passing, shocking her adoring fanbase, posting a statement the brave influencer had written before her death.

The post read: ‘If you’re reading this it means I have died, I made it five and a half years though, not bad for a stage four breastie ey.

‘And none of this “she fought her battle nonsense”, I didn’t lose anything, the cancer eventually took over and that’s okay, we all knew this would happen.

An emotional post shared by Nicky's husband Alex on Instagram, and written by Nicky before she died, shared news of her death

An emotional post shared by Nicky's husband Alex on Instagram, and written by Nicky before she died, shared news of her death

An emotional post shared by Nicky’s husband Alex on Instagram, and written by Nicky before she died, shared news of her death

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‘I don’t think we are ever prepared to hear the words, we think we are indestructible and a magic cure will appear, but the truth is we all live this life day to day (we just knew our days are shorter).

‘So please promise me to cherish those around you and give your friends and loved ones the biggest squeezes!

‘GO GRAB LIFE! You never truly know what is coming around the corner – so don’t take anything for granted.

‘You have all become a part of my legacy, my ‘Instagramily’ in MR.G’s words and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being here every step of the way.

‘There is more to come (with some amazing things in the works) that will aim to continue that legacy, so stick around and keep being the amazing bootiful hoomans you all already are!

'Most beautiful ray of sunshine': Many took to social media to share their sadness at the news, with Amy Dowden calling Nicky a true inspiration

'Most beautiful ray of sunshine': Many took to social media to share their sadness at the news, with Amy Dowden calling Nicky a true inspiration

‘Most beautiful ray of sunshine’: Many took to social media to share their sadness at the news, with Amy Dowden calling Nicky a true inspiration

Nicky did not shy away from sharing how difficult life with cancer was, but she maintained remarkable courage and positivity in the face of it

Nicky did not shy away from sharing how difficult life with cancer was, but she maintained remarkable courage and positivity in the face of it

Nicky did not shy away from sharing how difficult life with cancer was, but she maintained remarkable courage and positivity in the face of it 

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and affects more than two MILLION women a year

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than 55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the US, it strikes 266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what causes it and how can it be treated?

What is breast cancer?

It comes from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.

When the breast cancer has spread into surrounding tissue it is called ‘invasive’. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.

Most cases develop in those over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can develop in men, though this is rare.

Staging indicates how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.

The cancerous cells are graded from low, which means a slow growth, to high, which is fast-growing. High-grade cancers are more likely to come back after they have first been treated.

What causes breast cancer?

A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply ‘out of control’.

Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, there are some risk factors that can increase the chance, such as genetics.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most are not cancerous and are fluid filled cysts, which are benign. 

The first place that breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this occurs you will develop a swelling or lump in an armpit.

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

  • Initial assessment: A doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may do tests such as a mammography, a special x-ray of the breast tissue which can indicate the possibility of tumours.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy is when a small sample of tissue is removed from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under a microscope to look for abnormal cells. The sample can confirm or rule out cancer.

If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the liver or a chest X-ray.

How is breast cancer treated?

Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments are used.

  • Surgery: Breast-conserving surgery or the removal of the affected breast depending on the size of the tumour.
  • Radiotherapy: A treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focused on cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or stops them from multiplying. It is mainly used in addition to surgery.
  • Chemotherapy: A treatment of cancer by using anti-cancer drugs which kill cancer cells, or stop them from multiplying.
  • Hormone treatments: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen, which can stimulate the cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments which reduce the level of these hormones, or prevent them from working, are commonly used in people with breast cancer.

How successful is treatment?

The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small, and has not spread. Surgical removal of a tumour in an early stage may then give a good chance of cure.

The routine mammography offered to women between the ages of 50 and 70 means more breast cancers are being diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

For more information visit breastcancernow.org or call its free helpline on 0808 800 6000

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‘I’m a believer in energies and if people hold on to the positive energy we have created from this and other pages like it, then I will always be with you.

‘Mr.G has some words to follow as we both wanted to do this part together x

‘Love you all my bootiful hoomans! Nicky.’

Shortly afterwards, her husband shared his own post on her page, writing: ‘What can I say that my incredible wife hasn’t already in her final post. Nicky asked me to send her message out, along with a few words from me.

‘My bean was more than a partner or loved one to me, she truly was my lobster.

‘We have known each other since we were 14 and throughout all the years (even when we had time apart) we were always inextricably drawn to each other.

‘A truly rare joining of souls that were simply meant to be one.

‘We’ve been asked before about why it is that we thought Nicky’s page here became so popular and that is obviously a very hard question to answer. I told my bean a few weeks ago that I think it is because –

She shaved off her hair, and donated it to The Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for children with cancer

She shaved off her hair, and donated it to The Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for children with cancer

She shaved off her hair, and donated it to The Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for children with cancer 

Through her videos and posts, Nicky was able to raise awareness about organisations that help people, as well as help educate on how to check your breasts

Through her videos and posts, Nicky was able to raise awareness about organisations that help people, as well as help educate on how to check your breasts

Through her videos and posts, Nicky was able to raise awareness about organisations that help people, as well as help educate on how to check your breasts

‘People instantly love and are drawn to you because ever since diagnosis, at the worst time of our lives, we chose not to mourn the time we are losing but rather to celebrate and cherish the time that we have left – however long that may be’

‘Anyone that knew my wife knows this to be true. Nicky never accepted half measures, she took life with both hands and made each moment special and memorable.

‘She has created a legacy here, a place where anyone can see that life is for positivity and smiles and happiness. Even through hardship…even if it seems impossible.

‘Nicky has still got some incredible things to share on here and I am hoping you will stick around to see them come to fruition.

‘I will share it with you in her place, just as she would have wanted. I just ask you bare with me a little.’

He continued: ‘Last night there was a lightning storm right above our house, my girls way of reminding us to Go Grab Life and make it count.’

He finished his post by writing: ‘Love to every single one of you, be safe and be good to each other.’

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