Husband's heartbreaking campaign in wife's memory

Katie was just 32 years old when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She died two years later.


Daniel and Katie Cohen had been together for two years when they found out she had stage four lung cancer. Katie was just 32 years old.

It was in that moment that “their whole lives changed,” Mr Cohen said. “All the plans for the future fell apart.”

Katie died in April this year, but thanks to the immunotherapy treatment she received, the couple were able to get married and enjoy two more years together. And during her treatment, Mrs Cohen campaigned to make life enhancing drugs readily available to people with terminal illness.

She spoke about her illness in the media and told members of parliament about the drugs that made her life more bearable.

Now, in her memory, Mr Cohen, 41 has launched his own campaign to promote awareness around life enhancing drugs. He has shared their story as part of a nationwide cancer awareness drive, run by Roche Products and a coalition of cancer charities.

He said of his wife. “I fell in love with her from the moment I met her,” adding, “It took her a bit longer to come round.

“She was honest, funny, resilient and an extraordinary person. She was very empathetic and cared greatly for the people around her as well as those less fortunate.

“She had strong values and never wavered from them.

“We didn’t ask for a prognosis. We didn’t want to know how long we would have left.

“Just getting the extra time was everything to us and it meant that we did lots together.”

Mr Cohen explained that his wife, who worked as an addiction therapist, loved to travel and said that the treatment she received meant that the couple were able to enjoy trips to Florida and to Iceland, where they saw the Northern Lights. He added: “We also went to Jerusalem and the Western Wall where we both put our prayers in.

“She said to me ‘I don’t have to ask what you prayed for’ and I said ‘I know, but I don’t think I’ll ever get a PlayStation 4!’.

“It was those moments of humour that remind you that you are alive.”

The property investor has also released a video as part of the campaign. In the moving film, he explains that his wife was determined to get married and enjoy their wedding day.

“We had been through so much in the months leading up to that, the wedding was just an explosion of joy,” he says, as he also recalls how he “kissed her every morning before I went to work and every time I came home at night.

“Before I went to bed I told her I loved her,” he says. “It is funny because you never actually say goodbye.”

Mr Cohen, a member of Edgware Masorti Synagogue, said he believed that everyone had the right to life enhancing treatment, “no matter the politics involved, or the cost, or what goes on in the background.”

And just five months on from his wife’s death, Mr Cohen, said he “tries to take each day as it comes, thinking about what Katie would do.

“She would have been behind this campaign 100 per cent and would have loved to carry it forward.”

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