Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Tributes pour in as “County Armagh Princess” loses cancer battle

The community of Killean and beyond has been left heartbroken following the passing of “County Armagh Princess” Sabrina Ryan (McNamee).

A huge outpouring of sympathy and condolences have been extended to the McNamee family in Killean and the Ryan family in Dublin following the loss of the inspirational young lady who “touched the hearts of many” during her 4 year battle with a rare form of cancer.

Sabrina passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning, the 26th April in the Mater Hospital, Dublin.  Aged just 32, she slipped away peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her loving and devoted family.

Originally from Killean but living in Dublin with her husband Paul, Sabrina was diagnosed at only 28, with a rare form of lung cancer.  Sabrina and Paul married within months of discovering she was terminally ill and her grieving husband has paid tribute to the determination of his beautiful bride to support others battling the disease.

“Sabrina was so beautiful in every way and was able to give her heart to people.  She was the most loving and caring person I have ever met” said Paul, who credits his brave wife with changing his life for the better.

“She always remained positive and did so much to raise awareness. Since her passing I have learned about the amount of people she helped personally in hospital. They were of all ages.”

Despite the cancer being incurable, Sabrina researched all the treatments available to her and took part in clinical trials, defying the odds to live for four years after her devastating diagnosis.

She created a fashion and lifestyle Facebook page and blog entitled “So She Knows” providing tips and advice for other cancer sufferers on how to cope with hair loss and other effects of the disease.

Her huge following led to her becoming an Irish cancer society spokeswoman and she dedicated her time to raising awareness, taking part in many high profile campaigns including Today FM’s shave or dye campaign.

The funeral of the inspirational young woman took place at St Michael’s Chapel, Killean, on Wednesday.

Hundreds of mourners joined Sabrina’s friends and family to pay their respects to “their princess,” described as the “definition of strength, courage, inner beauty and dignity.”

The personal details thoughtfully contributed by her twin sister Donna Ronan during requiem Mass were fittingly beautiful and a true celebration of Sabrina’s life while the final reflection read by Sabrina’s devoted husband and soul mate Paul, concluded with the moving Mary Elizabeth Frye poem, “Do not stand at my grave and weep.”

Friends have reflected that, through Sabrina, they have learned to “live life to the full.”

Although Sabrina might have lost her battle with cancer, she has changed so many people’s lives in her fight to live.