Rozanna Purcell says she wishes her sister’s cancer had happened to her.
The 25-year-old model’s older sibling Rachel, 28, was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) earlier this year, leaving their family reeling.
“Rach is like my little sister in a weird way and I would have preferred this to happen to me,” Roz told the Irish Independent’s Weekend magazine. “She’s strong but I’m really strong.”
Support: Roz lives and works with her younger sister Rachel and is supporting her sister through her ordeal | VIPIreland
However, despite the initial shock, they are extremely positive about Rachel’s prognosis as CML is “completely controllable”.
Rachel explained: “The one thing that stood out to me was that CML is not curable but my doctors have always said to me, ‘If you’re going to get cancer, this is the best one to get as it’s completely controllable.”
CML affects the body’s ability to produce myeloid cells which affects the bone marrows production of white blood cells.
New addition: Rachel was advised to keep her stress levels down after the diagnosis so she and Roz got a dog, Wilko | Anthony Woods
The Purcell family are determined that life should go on as normal following Rachel’s diagnosis but Roz admitted it has encouraged her to seize the day a bit more.
She said: “It’s made me realise that you shouldn’t put things off. I am a bit of a hypochondriac, but I get my bloods taken all the time because I used to have a thyroid problem but it’s so important to get checked.
“With my sister getting cancer it made me realise that it can happen to anyone, even someone really fit and healthy. It made me see that we all have to live a little. There’s so much more to life than just work and being busy, it’s really all about the little things every day and enjoying the life you lead.”