HELLO!'s Star Mum winner Lisa Wells sadly passed away on Saturday morning after being diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel and liver cancer in October 2017. Lisa's husband Dan broke the news to her army of followers on Instagram, writing: "The most devastating news today. At 5am this morning Lisa lost her battle with cancer. She’s now at peace, no more pain, no more suffering. Sleep tight you absolute warrior, you won the hearts of many. Love you always and forever. Dan."
Dan posted a touching tribute to his wife on Instagram
Lisa was an incredible woman. Not only was she unthinkably brave in the face of such a terrifying diagnosis, she also set out to do all she could in the short time she had left - to leave behind her a legacy of love, laughter and joy for her two daughters Ava-Lily, six, and one-year-old Saffia.
"It was completely silent, we had no words to say, we got to the car and I fell down, it was such a shock," she said of the moment she received her terminal diagnosis, being told in December 2017 that she had between two months and a year to live. "It was fight or flight, what do you do? Do you accept what’s given to you and sit on your bed, or do you push through?"
WATCH: Lisa talking at the Star Mum Awards in 2018
Lisa, who was crowned HELLO!'s Star Mum winner at the inaugural event in 2018, added. "I wanted to do things. I wanted to do a 20k walk with all of my friends and 300 people walked with us, as I wanted to raise money for my children, for my future, for education, driving lessons, wedding dresses, everything that I would want to give them."
Lisa's large group of friends and family quickly became known as Lisa's Army - a gang committed to doing all they could to make sure her dreams and wishes would come true. But it's fair to say Lisa's achievements surpassed all expectations when in August 2018 she revealed that she had fulfilled her dream of writing a book.
Lisa's book, Only One of Me, is available to buy here
The brave mum-of-two created a children's book to help kids face the reality of losing a parent. Speed was of the essence, and her creation, Only One of Me, came together in under two months. "Picture book creation is traditionally a slow process," Lisa told HELLO! at the time. "There's so much to consider. Every word, every brushstroke, every turn of the page represents a thousand decisions. We're having to make our decisions fast and commit to them to meet our deadline."
Lisa with her daughter Ava-Lily
The text was written by Lisa and children's author Michelle Robinson, with the aim of bringing comfort to families with a terminally ill parent. Two versions of the book were released; one for families were the mum is faced with a terminal diagnosis, and the other for dads.
Lisa touched the lives of all of those around her and will be sadly missed
Writing a book is just one of the amazing things Lisa did since receiving her cancer diagnosis in 2017. Lisa and her friends, family, and supporters - #LisasArmyUK - have raised over £93,000 to date for the future of her girls and to donate to Dorothy House Hospice, near Bath, which provides support to the families of patients undergoing end of life care. "I want them to know their mum did all of this in their name," Lisa previously said of her girls. "My legacy will not be filled with sadness, but joy, laughter and love."
Hello!'s editor-in-chief Rosie Nixon paid tribute to Lisa, saying, "She was a true inspiration taking as much as she could from each day in her quest to leave a legacy of love and security for her young family. Lisa - and her ‘Army’ - fought until the end to raise awareness of #bowelcancer and she even wrote a book for grieving families to cope with life after losing a loved one to cancer. I feel privileged to have got to know Lisa and last saw her a few months ago at our Star Women Awards when we again paid tribute to all she has achieved. I will remember her smile and gentle voice, and the way she could speak to a whole room with such passion and determination. Lisa’s family are in my thoughts and I send them so much love today and for the months ahead."
TV presenter Gaby Roslin took to Instagram to express her sadness. "It’s heartbreaking news. So very sad. She was such a sweet and inspiring woman. My love and thoughts to all of her family and friends"
To make a donation in Lisa's name to support her children and family, and to raise money for the Dorothy House Hospice, visit her Crowdfunding page here.