Tributes paid to Jane McGrath

Couple worked to promote breast cancer awareness

Last Updated: 22/06/08 11:46am

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Jane and Glenn McGrath: Worked tirelessly

Jane and Glenn McGrath: Worked tirelessly

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Tributes have been paid to Jane McGrath, the wife of former Australian fast bowler Glenn, who died on Sunday aged 42 after a long battle with cancer.

She died peacefully at home with her husband and their children, James and Holly, by her side after her health had deteriorated in the past week following surgery in March.

She had battled her illness for more than 10 years and the couple worked to promote breast cancer awareness, starting up their own foundation to raise money for research and training nurses.

The couple's charity work was recognised earlier this year when they were appointed as Members of the Order of Australia.

Courageous struggle

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said in a statement: "Jane's courageous struggle touched all Australians.

"Jane was an inspiration whose legacy will continue to benefit so many others."

Television stations in Australia interrupted their normal programmes to announce her death, while thousands of spectators at sporting events in the country observed a minute's silence.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland added: "All of us who met her were charmed by her dignity and good humour as she tackled her battle with her illness for more than 10 years."

First diagnosed

Jane was first diagnosed with cancer during Australia's Ashes tour of England in 1997 then again in 2003, but made a full recovery both times.

She was then diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour in 2006, and McGrath took eight months off cricket to care for her and their two young children while she was undergoing radiotherapy.

He returned to the team later that year to help Australia regain the Ashes from England and win the World Cup for a third time in succession before announcing his retirement.

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