NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 8:38 AM
A British woman died just months after she mistook the aggressive skin cancer that made her shoulder ache for a simple pulled muscle.
Clare Daly was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in September after physical therapy failed to ease the pain in her shoulder. Doctors discovered the swelling was caused by the advanced cancer — not a strain, the Liverpool Echo reported.
Daly’s friends and family said she was diligent about protecting her porcelain skin from the sun, especially after she had a mole removed from her back a few years earlier. Her doctors eventually traced her cancer back to that mole.
“Clare wasn’t a sun-worshipper at all,” her friend Stefanie McCartney-Washington told the paper. “We went to Ibiza for her (bachelorette) party, about 30 of us, and Clare wore long sleeves, a hat and sunglasses the whole time. She always made sure we were all sun factored up, mothering us, and we listened to her and respected the fact that she was worried.”
Daly began aggressive treatment after her diagnosis, new targeted therapy that wasn’t covered under her health insurance. Her family and friends pitched in to cover the cost.
But despite the powerful therapy, Daly died in December.
“We had to think fast about how we were going to give her what she deserved,” McCartney-Washington said. “I took a second part-time job at West Tower so I could pay towards it. But then she died.”
More than 800 people attended her funeral.
“We couldn’t get everyone in the church,” McCartney-Washington said. “The amount of love we saw for her was incredible.”
This month, her family and friends launched the Clare Daly Foundation, a non-profit that raises melanoma awareness.