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Brave Bernie Nolan dies after losing three-year battle with cancer

July 4, 2013
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Much-loved entertainer Bernie Nolan has lost her battle with breast cancer, aged 52. The second youngest of the famous Nolan sisters died on 4 July, surrounded by her nearest and dearest.

A statement from the Nolans' spokesman said: "Bernie passed away peacefully this morning with all of her family around her. The entire family are devastated to have lost beloved Bernie, a wonderful wife, adoring mother and loving sister, she is irreplaceable. They kindly ask people to respect their privacy at this difficult time."

Bernie Nolan

The singer's husband of 17 years Steve Doneathy will be joined by her many fans in mourning her death. This year brave Bernie stunned doctors by defying predictions that she wouldn's live past February.In 2012, when she was given the devastating news that her cancer had returned the performer told HELLO!: "There's no point dwelling on it. I've got to fight it, be positive and get on with it."

The person she was most heartbroken to be leaving behind was the couple's darling 13-year-old daughter Erin and it was for her sake that she fought on. She spent as much time as possible with the teenager in the months leading up to her death. "When I take her to bed, we have big long chats and I sing to her still," said Bernie. "That's when she tells me everything. "Bernie, who first hit the big time performing hits such as I'm in the Mood for Dancing with her family band, was first diagnosed with the disease in 2010.Following chemotherapy and breast reconstruction, the mother of one thought she had beaten it, announcing in February 2012 that she was free of cancer. 

Bernie Nolan dies

The Dublin-born star with her darling daughter Erin

Tragically, that summer the Dublin-born star was told that the cancer had returned to her left breast, brain, lungs, liver and bones.Until shortly before the end, Bernie carried on doing what she loved most – performing. She starred as Mama Morton in Chicago and then the pantomime Sleeping Beauty, even as she continued with treatment.She started her professional life singing in clubs and pubs with her parents, sisters and brothers in Blackpool. In their heyday The Nolans sold millions of records. It was during a Nolans tour that Bernie met her husband, who is a drummer.When the dancefloor-fillers petered out she left, reinventing herself in the Nineties as a TV actress, tackling strong dramatic roles in Brookside and The Bill

Bernie Nolan

Bernie enjoyed fame along with her sisters for over three decades

Like all big families, they had their ups and downs – two of the bunch, Anne and Linda also had cancer. Through it all their baby sister maintained her sunny, irrepressible spirit.In her final interview with HELLO! Bernie talked about her 'glass half full' philosophy. "I've always been positive, even as a kid. I've always thought, 'Life is great and you should live it to the fullest."

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