Aussie woman's devastating final letter before dying of cancer

Vanessa Juresic died of breast cancer at 36.
Vanessa Juresic died of breast cancer at 36. Photo credit: GoFundMe

The heartbreaking final words of an Australian woman who died of cancer have been circulated online.

Vanessa Juresic from Sydney was diagnosed with Stage 4 triple-negative breast cancer in 2017. Tragically, she died from the aggressive disease on May 11, at age 36.

At her funeral, a letter was read aloud which Ms Juresic had penned in the days before her death. In it, she imparted some final wisdom and life lessons to the friends and family she left behind.

Since the funeral the letter has been shared widely online, inspiring thousands of people who never knew Ms Juresic but were touched by her words.

"Life is so fragile and so beautiful," she wrote. "Never in my worst nightmares would I have ever imagined I would be taken so soon.

"I had so much more to do. I wanted to join boards, write more policy and change the world for the better, fundraise more, mentor and 'make a difference' as they say.

"So I'm going to give it a go here instead, and give you my learnings from my short life.

Ms Juresic also included her "golden rule" for living a happy, successful life.

"In a world where you can be anything ... be kind. And don't let anyone make you cruel. No matter how badly you want to give the world a taste of its own bitter medicine, it is never worth losing yourself.

"But I'm not going to say to you to appreciate all these things in case you die. That's too predictable. Instead I say don't over analyse life and fear a horrible fate. Just live your full, wonderful lives and don't give mortality a second thought.

"I was unlucky, but you are not. Terminal or not you should be reaching for the stars, taking advantage of the amazing life you've been handed. Not because you might die!

"Dying is easy. Life is hard ... but ridiculously rewarding. Challenge yourself. I only wish I'd figured this out earlier in life.

"God always opened up a window when I knew shutting the door was the right thing to do, so trust and this will happen for you too. Don't be scared. Life is short."

After she was diagnosed, Ms Juresic's friends set up a GoFundMe to raise money to send her on a final adventure, but she died before she could go. Instead, the money raised will go to cancer research at the Garvin Institute.

So far, more than AU$33,500 (NZ$36,600) has been donated.