Tragedy unites long-time swim rivals

 

The tributes for the Curry-Kenny family have come flooding in following the shock and tragic death of Jaimi Kenny on Monday.

A joint statement from Lisa Curry and Grant Kenny revealed their beloved oldest daughter Jaimi had died in hospital that morning.

Jaimi, 33, had "lost her battle with a long-term illness and passed away peacefully in hospital this morning in the company of loving family".

News.com.au understands the 33-year-old had been receiving treatment for an eating disorder for years at Sunshine Coast private clinic End ED.

As the tributes came rolling in, one from a long-time rival in the pool stood out on social media.

Tracey Wickham and Curry were stars of the pool throughout the 1980s, winning more than 20 international gold medals combined.

Despite the Aussie duo dominating between the lanes, out of the pool their relationship was far from friendly with the frostiest moment coming ahead of the 1982 Commonwealth Games when Curry slow clapped her rival as she walked out to the pool.

But after the tragic announcement of Jaimi's death, Wickham put their rivalry aside and reached out to her long-time opponent.

"Lisa, my heart breaks for you and your family,' Wickham wrote on Curry's Instagram.

"It's a tragic time when losing a child. I can't believe we both have lost our beloved daughters.

"God bless you and hoping everyone holds you tight. Big hugs … much love. Tracey."

RELATED: Inside the 'guarded' Curry-Kenny family

RELATED: Heartbroken Olympian's tragic message

Wickham sadly lost her daughter Hannah Ciobo in 2009 after a five-year battle with the rare disease, synovial cancer.

Hannah, 19, was first diagnosed with synovial sarcoma - a rare and aggressive cancer - in 2004 but beat it after several operations and rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Sadly it returned for the final time in early 2009.

She died three hours after achieving her final wish as she married Tom O'Driscoll in a hospital wedding. The pair met two years earlier in a cancer ward.

Wickham (left) with Curry (middle).
Wickham (left) with Curry (middle).

Wickham said her daughter was in a hospital gown and on oxygen, but was aware of the ceremony, attended by 20 family and friends including Hannah's dad and brother Daniel.

"There was love in her eyes," she said.

"Tom was alone with her, and he saw her slip away.

"She was too young to die. Hannah was a fighter until the end, just like her mother.

"She passed away peacefully with family and friends."

Curry thanked the outpouring of love from all corners after making the heartbreaking announcement of her daughter's passing, while issuing advice to fellow parents in an Instagram post.

"Right now, go and give your children the biggest hug and tell them how much you love them, and do that everyday because you'll never know if it's the last day," she wrote.

Sadly Curry was forced to hit out on social media when a dodgy fundraiser was set up by internet scammers.

"SOME PEOPLE !!! Someone has started a go fund me page on Mark Andrew Tabone FB page … this is NOT US," Ms Curry wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

"It's also sending friend requests. PLEASE DO NOT OPEN ANYTHING FROM THIS FAKE ACCOUNT."

Thankfully evidence of the dodgy fundraiser appears to have been wiped from the Donor Box site.

Originally published as Tragedy unites long-time swim rivals


School year cut short for teachers’ pandemic leave

Premium Content School year cut short for teachers’ pandemic leave

The Queensland school year will end two days sooner than planned

Shocking stats reveal Stanthorpe’s speeding problem

Premium Content Shocking stats reveal Stanthorpe’s speeding problem

Motorists have been warned to watch the lead foot, after new data shows a high...

Labor last in every seat: LNP’s ‘risky’ preference move

Premium Content Labor last in every seat: LNP’s ‘risky’ preference move

The LNP has not ruled out preferencing the Greens over Labor