Demi Wright was only 22 when she passed away in February 2016 from a rare and aggressive form of cancer called adenocarcinoma, which had spread all over her body.
And as if that weren’t tragic enough, there’s a possibility that her cancer wasn’t diagnosed, or even looked for, for months due to a misunderstanding that led doctors to allegedly believe that she was pregnant, not suffering from cancer.
It started in November 2015 when Demi complained of a pain in the side of her abdomen. When it didn’t subside, she went to the doctor.
A test found elevated hormones similar to those found in pregnant women, and so doctors, according to Wright’s friends and family, the doctors simply assumed she must be pregnant, and she was admitted to the maternity ward.
But the pain didn’t go away. And when doctors finally looked again, they found that there was no baby inside Demi, but rather a 12-centimeter tumor.
This is hardly the first time an ailment has been misdiagnosed, and in fact women, and especially young women, are more likely to be misdiagnosed than anyone else, sometimes, like in Wright’s case, with tragic outcomes.
Now, Demi’s tragic story is reminding women everywhere of the power of second opinions.
Demi Wright was finally diagnosed with adenocarcinoma after months of misdiagnosis.
A pain in her side and elevated hormone levels led doctors, her family says, to believe that pregnancy was the cause of Wright’s pain.
“It was strange because she had been using the contraceptive pill and there were no other signs of her being pregnant,” her father, Chris Wright said.
Demi Wright was a talented makeup artist, as well as an actress and singer, and was known for her bright and cheerful personality and her ability to make friends wherever she went.
“She didn’t have a bad bone in her body,” her father said. “She had an infectious, beautiful smile and it showed her personality off.”
Needless to say, her parents, brother and sister, and boyfriend Mitch Gregory were devastated at the loss.
“We feel robbed,” Gregory said.
But they were also amazed and inspired by Wright’s strength and grace through the ordeal.
“It needs to be stressed how much courage she had,” Gregory said. “She’s our inspiration now.”
Her father also remembers her strength.
“When we found out it was terminal, she lifted herself up, she patted the bed and said, ‘Dad, come and sit here,’” he said. “She gave me a big hug and said, ‘It’s going to be OK.’”
She passed away shortly after that.
Wright’s cousin, Zoe King, ran in the Cancer Research U.K.’s annual Race for Life in Demi’s name the summer following her death.
Thanks to online fundraising, she was able to raise £11,052 (that’s $13,442) out of a £2,000 goal.
The money went to cancer research so that diagnosis and treatment for cancer can continue to improve.
Meanwhile, Demi’s memory will continue to be treasured by her friends and family, and by supporters of cancer research all around the world.
If you believe in getting second opinions — and hope to one day make cancer a thing of the past — please SHARE this young lady’s story.