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Reviews Personal views

In memory of Annie

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 13 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:745

When Annie was first diagnosed we started using the word “Yo” as a symbol of hope for the future. Annie was a whirlwind of energy, enthusiasm, and humour. She was an idealist, truly believing that the world could be a better place. Her conviction that individuals really can change things carried many people with her, producing real improvements both locally and further afield. “Yo” summed up Annie's approach to her life—and to her death.

For Annie died. Eighteen months ago she was diagnosed as having Hodgkin's lymphoma. Her apparently rapid physical decline came as a shock to her friends. We did not know of her repeated visits to her general practitioner complaining of tiredness. We did not know it took her two days to recover from a simple walk. We did not know of her tears of frustration when her tiredness and breathlessness were attributed to “depression” and “asthma.” It was hard to understand her relief when …

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