Tributes to Tracy Martin, Co Down cancer campaigner who made a difference

Tributes have flooded in for a dedicated cancer campaigner from Co Down who has passed away after her own brave battle with the disease.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 1:29 pm
Cancer campaigner Tracy Martin from Banbridge

Tracy Martin from Banbridge, who fought tirelessly to improve the lives of cancer patients in Northern Ireland, died on Sunday.

Due to Covid regulations her funeral will be strictly for family and close friends. At Tracy’s own request she has asked everyone to wear bright colours.

Cancer Focus NI paid a moving tribute to their dear friend and supporter: “Tracy cared about others deeply.

Tracy Martin with Roisin Foster, former Chief Executive of Cancer Focus NI

“She was a dedicated campaigner for improving the lives of local cancer patients and passionate about trying to make things better for others in any way she could.

“She was a fierce supporter of our work, and alongside her beloved late father, Brian Coburn, was instrumental in the success of our Equal Access to Drugs campaign in 2014. “Continuing her dad’s legacy, Tracy spoke out and spoke loudly on behalf of others.

“She helped us launch our manifesto at Stormont in 2016 calling on the Executive to build a fresh vision for cancer – one that would take the fight against cancer forward in NI.”

The organisation said that when Tracy was diagnosed with breast cancer she was inspired by her father’s advice to “hold your head up high, put your shoulders back and carry on”.

Cancer Focus NI said: “She handled her breast cancer diagnosis with tremendous dignity, fortitude and strength.

“It was our honour to have worked with her. Our team commented that visiting her was always a joy and that it had been a privilege to have worked with her.

“She was a devoted mum with a wonderful, fiercely loving heart.

“We send our deepest sympathy to Tracy’s husband Philip, their sons Ross and Kyle, her dear mum and brothers, the extended family and friends at this very difficult time.”

Former Chief Executive of Cancer Focus NI Roisin Foster commented: “Tracy was a warm, loving and determined woman and despite all we had some laughs together.

“The last time I saw Tracy was when lockdown eased late last summer. I asked her if there was anything I could do.

“Laughing she said – ‘well I’d love someone to dig the spuds I planted months ago’. She was somewhat surprised when I pulled on her boots and did just that.

“She did laugh at me clambering in a very ungainly fashion up into her raised beds.

“I’ll miss you so much Tracy.”

Former Upper Bann MLA Joanne Dobson described Tracy as “a feisty Banbridge girl whose voice thundered through the corridors of Stormont”.

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