On the 15th anniversary of Belinda Emmett’s death, her brother wrote a heartfelt homage to his late sister.
On November 11, 2006, the Home and Away actress died of cancer at the age of 32.
Shane Emmett, in an interview with New Idea, commented about Belinda’s enduring impact on so many Australians.
“It’s always tough to make sense of someone passing away so young,” Shane told New Idea. “It still amazes me because when people find out I’m Belinda’s brother, they always want to chat about her — whether they knew her in real life or only saw her on TV.”
“Her influence in such a short period is nothing short of astounding,” he continued. She crammed a lot into her life, and that’s the lesson I’ve taken away from her: “Live life to the fullest and shine brightly while you still can, because you never know how long you’ll have.”
Belinda, who is best known for her role as Rebecca Fisher on Home and Away, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 24 in 1998.
Belinda beat the disease after surgery and six weeks of radiotherapy, and went on to finish her time on Home and Away in 1999, before starring in All Saints in 2000 and 2001.
However, Belinda began to endure severe back pain on the set of the Australian film The Nugget in September 2001, prompting physicians to find that her cancer had spread to her bones.
In 2002, she told The Australian Women’s Weekly, “It wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when.”
“The scumbags were going to get me.” It was a strange sensation, almost as if I were out of my body. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to put it into words.”
Belinda stated she was resolved to combat the sickness in an appearance with 60 Minutes the same year.
“I believe that people underestimate their own power, and I believe that these types of challenges compel you to delve a little deeper and realise what you’re truly made of,” she added.
“I’d always known I was a formidable opponent. I’ve always been a brave and bold person, but I think I shocked myself this time.”
‘Was more concerned about other people’
Brother Shane told New Idea that Belinda always put on a brave face during that trying period.
He remarked, “She always cared more about other people; I never saw her feel sorry for herself.” “Despite being in and out of chemo and radiation and having all sorts of really, really terrible physical issues, she never brought attention to her disease.”
“We wouldn’t hear a word about any of it.” It was as if she wasn’t unwell at all because it was never a topic of conversation with her. “It was never about Belinda,”
Rove, a TV presenter, was by Belinda’s side throughout her illness, and the two married in Sydney in January 2005.
However, less than 22 months later, the actress succumbed to her illness and was laid to rest in the same church where she and Rove married.
Shane said he’s still moved by the outpouring of love for his sister in the years since her untimely death.
“Everyone seemed to gravitate towards her.” He described her as “effervescent” and “so much pleasure to be around.” “I’ve worked with a lot of individuals in the film and television industry over the years, and I’ve never met someone who didn’t like her.” I admire how much other people admire her.”