'Cancer took you at 39': Mel McLaughlin's touching birthday post to late sister

Mel McLaughlin has opened up on the heartbreaking loss of her older sister, on what would have been her 43rd birthday.

The Seven Network sports presenter revealed the pain and suffering her sister, Tara, suffered after several miscarriages and a lung cancer diagnosis, despite never smoking a cigarette in her life.

“Happy birthday beautiful big sister. You should have been woken up on your 43rd birthday by your little boys who would have made you breakfast in bed,” McLaughlin wrote alongside a photo of her sister which was taken at a ball in her honour.

“You know those two gorgeous sons you suffered miscarriage after miscarriage to bring to the world.”

“Instead you’re not here, because cancer took you at 39.

Mel Mclaughlin shared a touching tribute to her big sister, Tara (pictured in orange). Source: Instagram / Mel Mclaughlin

The NSW Police officer was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant after she passed away in May, 2015, leaving behind a husband and two boys.

In the touching Instagram post, McLaughlin, who admits she struggles to discuss the deeply personal issue, said doctors initially failed to diagnose her sister’s cancer.

“You never smoked a cigarette in your life, yet was diagnosed with lung cancer-that was after you went to the doctor to ask about your exhaustion and sore chest. But the doctor initially put it down to breastfeeding. Breast. Feeding,” McLaughlin wrote.

“Then your lung collapsed on a walk. Then after your body was smashed by chemo they found it was in fact a rare cancer, a freakish genetic mutation, that required $8,000 a month medication.

The Seven Network sports presenter praised her big sister on what would have been her 43rd birthday. Source: Getty

The Australian sporting personality, who grew up in Quaker’s Hill, in Sydney’s west, said she wanted to help share Tara’s message, educating people to “ask for an x-ray and never to just accept if ever in that horrific situation”.

“The point is that NOBODY deserves lung cancer and it is an absolute giant killer with an impossibly unfair stigma. Work to be done,” she added.

“If someone is diagnosed with lung cancer, the first question shouldn’t be “oh, so they smoke?”. It doesn’t matter.

“And as we always say ‘F*** Cancer’.

“PS. You are our hero Tara.”

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