Cancer victim, 24, surprises 18,500 Instagram followers with post from beyond grave saying 'after 8 long years I've left you'

Emily Hayward, 24, posted a message saying she had "peacefully left", eight years after receiving her melanoma diagnosis.

The Instagram message read: "With all my loved ones around me I have now peacefully left you all.

"Thank you all for your love and support, but most of all thank you for always following my journey and believing in me.

"Love you all, peace Em x”.

The personal trainer, from Canterbury, had won legions of fans as she bravely and openly spoke about her cancer battle, with thousands writing goodbye messages to the inspiring young woman.

Emily had initially been diagnosed with cancer eight years ago after a mole on her leg was found to be a malignant melanoma.

Despite surgeons removing the cancerous area on her leg, the cancer had returned two years later.

It was then, in 2013, that a scan revealed the disease had moved to the lymph nodes in her groin.

Speaking with the Kentish Gazette in November, Emily said: "They took out the nodes and after that I felt so well for another two years and thought I had beaten it.

"But I also knew there was a chance the cancer would return and a scan in 2015 revealed it had, this time in my liver, lung and my brain."

After receiving the diagnosis in March, Emily proposed to her girlfriend of four years, Aisha Hasan.

The couple then wed just a few weeks later in April.

Aisha has since paid tribute to her wife, with the 26-year-old writing: "I love you so much em, you are my soulmate, you are everything I ever wanted, you may not be here but you will be in my heart forever so proud of you beautiful I love you."

Emily attended Canterbury’s Chaucer School and worked at the King’s School Recreation Centre as a fitness instructor.

Her journey had reached thousands of people through her YouTube blog, with her story also shared on Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer series.

At the time, she said: "I have been told the Channel 4 screening about my vlogging has touched a lot of people.

"I just want to let people know what it’s like to fight cancer and how I deal with it."

In the UK, around 13,300 people a year are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, according to Cancer Research.

And spotting the early signs of the disease could make all the difference when it comes to survival.

Experts recommend that those individuals perform regular checks of their skin to spot for potential signs of the disease returning, or new melanomas appearing.

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