The Nolans heartbreaking cancer history on anniversary of Bernies death07/04/2021
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The Nolans are one of Britain's most beloved families, and the singing siblings have faced plenty of devastating tragedies over the years.
Often referred to as Ireland's first family of music, the group were the first Irish performers to achieve international success.
The band had seven international hits, including I'm In The Mood For Dancing, Who's Gonna Rock You and Chemistry and they sold over 30 million records, making them one of the the world's biggest selling girl groups.
Siblings Anne, Bernie, Maureen, Coleen and Linda have had more than their fair share of bad times.
And on the sad anniversary of poor Bernie's death, Daily Star is taking a look back at The Nolans' heartbreaking family history with cancer.
Linda and Anne battle cancer together
Linda and Anne spoke of their devastation after being diagnosed with different forms of cancer just days apart last year.
The sisters both went through chemotherapy at a hospital in Blackpool.
They were diagnosed shortly after they returned from filming a series of The Nolans Go Cruising, with sisters Maureen and Coleen, in March.
Linda was battling cancer of the liver, and Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Both sisters lost their hair due to their treatment.
A message posted on The Nolans' official Twitter account at the time read: "We will get through this together, as a family."
Both Linda and Anne vowed to beat their cancer, a disease they have both had to confront before.
Earlier this year, Linda spoke of her fear of dying as she continued her treatment.
But there was good news for Anne, who was told she was clear of cancer.
Anne's cancer diagnosis
Anne, 69, is the eldest Nolan sister and is a mother of two and a grandmother of three young grandchildren.
The pop star was first diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2000, which she beat.
In 20202, it was revealed Anne was fighting stage three of the disease, the most serious being stage four.
Speaking to The Sun last year, Anne said: "My first cancer was diagnosed in April 2000.
"I found my lump in April, so it was exactly 20 years on."
Anne’s chemo was particularly difficult, and it saw her end up in hospital for 11 days.
She told the publication: "It’s really toxic chemo and it's not been good.
"They were testing me for sepsis and Covid and everything. But all my results came back negative. So it was just the chemo that was making me ill."
She said: "The cancer hasn’t metastasised, it’s just contained in the breast. That was an amazing thing to hear really.
"I keep telling myself the chemo is horrible, but hopefully it’s doing its job.
"I’m not brave. I haven’t been brave at all — I’ve been crying and probably stressing my sisters and my daughters.
"So I’m not brave. I just haven’t got any choice. Either I do it, take chemo, or face the consequences."
However earlier this year, she shared the happy news that, although she was continuing treatment, the cancer has "disappeared, basically".
Linda's cancer hell
Linda Nolan has taken a lot of knocks over the years – the loss of her sister Bernie to cancer plus her own battle with breast cancer and the shock discovery that she's now fighting cancer once more.
The star's incurable cancer is in her liver; her third cancer battle following breast cancer in 2006, cellulitis and lymphoedema in her arm in 2007 and secondary cancer on her pelvis in 2017.
Sister Coleen revealed on on Loose Women in 2017 at the time that Linda had "incurable" cancer after finding a cyst on her hip.
"The positive thing is, although it is not curable, it is treatable and it hasn't spread anywhere else," Coleen revealed.
"Linda wants to get it across she isn't dying of cancer because it is treatable and she could have years, so we have to focus on that."
In a joint interview with sister Anne published last year, Linda admitted that she is scared of dying.
The 61-year-old star told The Sun: "It’s just really hard and I’m scared of dying. I don’t want to die.
"I want to be around and see my great nieces and nephews grow up, and that’s why I’m putting everything I’ve got into trying to get well."
"On May 7 our sister Maureen called me at 10am to say that Anne’s breast cancer had been confirmed.
"Then half an hour later my oncologist’s secretary phoned me to say, 'We need you to have an MRI scan because we’ve seen something on your liver'.
"I couldn’t tell anyone then because they were so obviously devastated about Anne.
"I thought, 'I can’t turn around now and say, 'Actually I’ve got it back as well'."
Linda, who never had children, revealed that she found it really hard losing her hair.
She told the publication: "It’s a difficult thing to say to people that, 'Yes, I’ve got cancer but I’m traumatised about losing my hair'.
"How you look is part of showbiz and everybody gets labelled. I was blonde with the big boobs. So cancer has taken that away from me.
"First I had a mastectomy in 2006 and now my hair, and it’s just really hard."
Linda's husband loses cancer battle
Former Celebrity Big Brother star Linda was widowed in 2007 when her husband of 23 years, the Nolans' former tour manager Brian Hudson, died after a battle with skin cancer and liver failure aged 60.
Following the death of her husband, Linda has only kissed one man.
Linda told The Sun: "I am ready to live with cancer and maybe love with cancer and hopefully there’s somebody out there.
"I know Brian is up there going, 'Oh go for it girl, I’ll be here waiting for you when the time comes but enjoy yourself'. I think that’s what he would want."
Speaking about her husband's death back in 20018, Linda told the Belfast Telegraph: "Life without Brian is a nightmare. He was my soulmate and I miss him terribly."
"After Brian my mother Maureen died at 81 in December so surely nothing else can go wrong.
"I wouldn't wish what has happened to me on anyone else. However, the Nolans are a great family and rally round and my two step-children Lloyd and Sarah give me tremendous support."
Bernie's heartbreaking death
The Nolans' lead singer Bernie was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2010.
The actress underwent chemotherapy and a mastectomy and was soon given the all clear.
However, Bernie revealed the cancer had returned, and had spread to her brain, lungs, liver and bones in 2012.
Bernie passed away in 2013 aged 52.
Writing in her autobiography, Loose Women star Coleen revealed that the famous rift between the sisters was far from healed.
The ITV star revealed things between her and sister Denise continued to sour after Bernie died.
Coleen penned: "When Bernie was ill Denise and I both did our best to come to an uneasy truce. But once Bernie had died the truce appeared to be over.
"I hoped we could move on but soon after, she wrote on her website that she doubts we can ever be friends and, sadly, that’s the truth."
- Linda Nolan
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