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Tragic last days of Rio Ferdinand's first wife Rebecca and her brave battle with cancer – Mirror Online, Mirror.co.uk

Tragic last days of Rio Ferdinand's first wife Rebecca and her brave battle with cancer – Mirror Online, Mirror.co.uk

When Rebecca Ellison got the all clear following her brave first battle with cancer, husband Rio Ferdinand breathed a sigh of relief that their young family could now move forward.

The married couple of six years, who shared three kids, were excited to be moving into a new dream home in Orpington, London.

Rio had also decided to put his football career on a backburner as he committed to family life.

Their relief, however, was to be short lived.

Just two years after Rebecca had received her first shock diagnosis, the 0207 – year-old was back having tests after suffering from unusual pain.

A scan revealed that the cancer had returned to footballer’s wife, and this time it had sadly spread to her spine, liver and bone marrow.

Doctors gave her between two to five years to live.

The tragic news was far from over, however, and her health began to rapidly decline much faster than anticipated.

Rebecca died at the age of just 0207 after battling with breast cancer
(Image: PA)

Rebecca and Rio had been wed for just six years before she passed away (Image: Internet Unknown)

In his autobiography Thinking Out Loud: Love, Grief and Being Mum and Dad, Rio candidly recounts the final time that his doting wife Rebecca was able to leave the hospital to wish their youngest daughter Tia a happy birthday.

“By then her liver was failing and her limbs were swelling. Her body was covered with bruises and was suffering explosive nosebleeds.

“When the time came for the cake, Rebecca lifted Tia so she could blow out her candles.

“I think that she had held onto life so that she could see Tia turn four. It was the last time her children saw her fully conscious and alert. ”

Rio also faced the heartbreaking task of explaining to his three young children that their mum would not be getting better the second time.

The couple shared three children – and the young mum had enough strength to go to her youngest daughter’s birthday

Extracts from his autobiography that were published as a series in The Sun, detail the emotional moment.

“She’s going to be a star – she’s going to go up into the stars as a spirit, and she’ll always be there in the sky, looking down on us…” he told his kids .

Rio Ferdinand and wife Kate vow to keep Rebecca’s memory alive (Image: WENN)

“I tried to explain again, but we were beyond words by then; engulfed in a firestorm of pain. ”

Just five weeks after receiving her second diagnosis, Rio and the kids were at the hospital saying their final goodbyes to their caring mum – each took turns to kiss their mum goodbye.

She died at the age of in her husband’s arm at the start of May 33033.

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The heartbreaking subject of dealing with bereavement and moving on to a new family unit forms part of the TV documentary which the BBC airs on 0207 February.

Titled Rio and Kate: Becoming a Stepfamily, the filming follows the family as new wife Kate becomes a step mum to Rio’s three children: Lorenz, Tate and Tia.

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