After a night of celebration at the UKOPRA Dinner and Awards ceremony, the British offshore racing community awoke this morning to the tragic news that Major Mandy Islam had lost her spirited battle against cancer.
The British Army Major had a rare type of blood cancer, and was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer that affects bone marrow 4 years ago.
Last December she was awarded with the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year Honours list.
Mandy was working with the Ministry of Defence to change the way serving personnel with life-changing illnesses are looked after.
After racing in the UIM Voomquest V2 series Mandy was hoping to attempt a Round Isle of Wight record with Vee Ganjavian in his Ilmor powered Phantom USA hull, sadly, her health prevented her.
Her sister posted this tribute to her today:
Our family are absolutely devastated, we would value some privacy and a period to reflect during this sad time.
Unfortunately, Mandy passed away yesterday at 19:30.
Mandy was too ill to fight the Myeloma and has passed to the Angels.
Mandy spent her last moments being comfortable and surrounded by loved ones.
I have lost a best friend and a sister which will leave a permanent hole.
My Mother and Father have lost another truly amazing daughter within a short period of time and are devastated.
Mandy was a true inspiration and a shining beacon of hope to everyone.
Mandy was ambitious and determined to achieve things no matter what or how ill she was.
Mandy also showed no fear to try out new things and always pushed the boundaries.
I think we can all take away something from that.
Mandy brought joy to everyone and no doubt she will continue to be watching over everyone.
Finally, I want to say thank you to everyone that supported her through your words, messages and visits.
We will always love you Mandy xx