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Family tragedy unites rivals Lisa Curry and Tracey Wickham

Family tragedy unites rivals Lisa Curry and Tracey Wickham

After the loss of Lisa Curry’s daughter Jaimi Kenny on Monday, tributes have flown in to the family.

A joint statement from Lisa Curry and Grant Kenny revealed their beloved oldest daughter Jaimi had passed away in hospital that morning after a battle with a long-term illness.

While many across the nation shared their condolences to the family, there was one from a long-time rival that particularly stood out.

Tracey Wickham and Curry were both swimming stars the 1980s, and won 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.

This was obvious when media caught wind of a frosty moment the two shares ahead of the 1982 Commonwealth Games when Curry slow clapped her rival as she walked out to the pool.

Wickham (left) and Curry (middle)

But after the tragic announcement of Jaimi’s death, Wickham put their rivalry aside and reached out to Lisa.

“Lisa, my heart breaks for you and your family,” she 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.”

Wickham 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.

While she did beat it after several operations and rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, it sadly returned for the final time in early 2009.

She died three hours after achieving her final wish — marrying Tom O’Driscoll in a hospital wedding.

The pair met two years earlier in a cancer ward.

Wickham said her daughter was in a hospital gown and on oxygen, but was aware of the ceremony.

The heartbreaking nuptials were 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 after she made the heartbreaking announcement of her daughter’s death.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lisa Curry AO (@lisacurry) on Sep 15, 2020 at 5:10pm PDT

She also issued 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 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.”