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Fiji Time: 12:47 PM on Friday 25 April

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Legacy of strength

Maciu Malo
Monday, January 21, 2013

INSPIRED by her resilience and spirit, the family of late cancer victim Amete Nagatalevu has given more than $13,000 to the Fiji Cancer Society Western Branch.

At the Sheraton Fiji Resort handover a few days ago, husband Robin Maivusaroko said Amete's story of strength left a legacy he and the family were proud of.

"My wife passed away almost one year ago and I knew that Christmas would be a quiet and emotional time for me and the kids," he said.

"The hotel that I work at — Sheraton Qingdao Jiaozhou Hotel in China was getting ready for the annual tree lighting ceremony and rather than it just being a cocktail I wanted to make something meaningful in memory of Amete.

"With the support of other Starwood hotels that provided accommodation packages, we held a charity auction and were able to raise $26,000 for cancer awareness.

"Half of the amount raised went to a local hospital in China and half went to the Western Cancer Society where my wife was an active committee member and had been effectively involved in their community outreach program."

He said his late wife's strength and determination during her battle with cancer was inspirational and had taught him many lessons. "My wife battled cancer for six years and she never wanted her circumstances and the disease to dictate terms to her.

"Because of that, I believe that she is not only an inspiration to other cancer victims but also to me and I thought this might be a way to honour her memory.

"I hope that through supporting the program that more people in Fiji will take advantage and get tested early.

"It was not easy seeing my wife battle the disease and to realise that cancer victims go through many tough moments was emotional at times.

"It is also a very humbling experience because it tests our patience and it affects our daily lives."

Fiji Cancer Society Western branch president Milika Marshall said the late Ms Nagatalevu would be remembered as an optimistic fighter.

"Amete was very strong in her fight against cancer, unfortunately she lost the battle," she said.

"She was influential in her campaign against cancer and we thank her husband and kids for the donation.

"It's amazing to see what the family members have done in her memory. Amete has taught us a lot of lessons in life and I am urging men and women to get regular checks," she added.