Millie Award Winner Anna Irwin Loses Cancer Fight Aged 37

Millies award winner Anna Irwin has sadly lost her fight against lung cancer at the age of 37. 

The Flight Sergeant won a Sun Military Award in 2013 for saving lives whilst under fire from the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with an incurable Stage 4 lung cancer in April 2016.

Her sister Katie Ann Irwin took to Facebook to announce the sad news and said 'she could not have wished for a better big sister':

"She has made me and everyone that knew her so very, very proud!!!

"Can I ask all that knew and loved her to raise a glass tonight in her honour and share a story of a time you spent with Anna.

"I guarantee it will bring a smile to your face."

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff, said in a statement:

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Flight Sergeant Anna Irwin. Anna was a cherished and respected member of the RAF Chinook Force.

"Proven in combat, she led through example and was a person whose character, sunny personality and enthusiasm for life simply inspired people.

"Recognised in 2013 with the award of a ‘Millie’ for saving lives under fire on operations in Afghanistan, Anna faced her illness with the same courage and determination.

"Typically, Anna set herself challenging targets to raise money for charities close to her heart and her fundraising activities truly epitomised her selfless character, strength and spirit.

"My thoughts, and those of all the RAF, are with Anna’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time.”

Since being diagnosed, Anna had been raising money for different charities, including the Teenage Cancer Trust, Cancer Research at The Royal Marsden and Fund the Fight.

According to the Teenage Cancer Trust, in only four months she raised £50,000 for charity, as well as funds to travel to an alternative cancer clinic in Spain.

Last May, Anna jumped out of an aircraft last as part of a series of challenges to fund her campaigns:

In her fundraising video on GoFundMe, she says that the hardest thing has been "telling family and friends and sharing the grief".

She continues:

"But everyone has been fantastic and the support they have given me during the scariest and worst time of my life has been incredible."

However, the chemotherapy stopped working and the cancer started growing.

But Anna was determined to not let it take the toll and said: 

"I am a fighter. I refuse to give up."