Diane Bishop, who won $1.5M lottery while fighting stage 4 breast cancer, has died
Single mother of 2 from N.L. said she couldn't afford to quit her job to fight the disease
Diane Bishop, the Mount Pearl, N.L., convenience store operator whose story touched hearts across the country after she won a lottery while battling stage 4 breast cancer, has died, her family says.
She was 51.
"Diane fought not only for herself, but for those who could not speak for themselves as they dealt with their own financial battles that accompanied their cancer journey," reads the statement from the Bishop and Parsons families.
"Diane touched many lives and we know she will be missed greatly. Diane will forever be in our hearts and minds."
Bishop won the $1.5-million Super Set For Life lottery in November. Before winning the prize, she was a franchisee running the Needs Convenience store.
The statement from her family members went on to thank everyone who supported Bishop, but asked for privacy to mourn her.
Her family said donations in her memory may be made to Daffodil Place in St. John's, which is operated by the Canadian Cancer Society and provides accommodations for people undergoing cancer treatments and their caregivers.
"She had a very strong passion for her family and the welfare of her family," said Matthew Piercey, executive director of the N.L. chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society.
"She had a very difficult battle, and she really faced that in a positive manner, just a great individual."
A single mother of two sons in their 20s, Bishop told CBC News in October that she couldn't afford to stop working, despite her cancer spreading to her pelvic bone and lung, and her daily battles with bone and joint pain, nausea, headaches and severe fatigue from chemotherapy.
She won the lottery a month after CBC News reported her story.
"It's like this big ball of weight has been lifted off my shoulders," she said. "The stress is gone, the anxiety of being sick. I know I can't beat stage 4 because you're a ticking time bomb, but it's given me hope that maybe it can go dormant for awhile ... and I can live my life.
"This money wasn't about going out and buying a new house or taking trips," she said. "This was about survival. I can survive now, and my kids can survive."
Bishop was diagnosed in April 2016 with stage 4 triple negative breast cancer.