Jackie Collins's Poignant Final Letter to Fans: 'Stay Healthy, Stay Lucky, Take Chances'

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Suzy Byrne
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
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Jackie Collins shared some wise words before she passed away. (Getty Images)

Jackie Collins lost her battle to breast cancer, but she didn’t want others to do the same.

The bestselling author, who died on Sept. 19 after quietly fighting the disease for more than six years, penned a newsletter to readers — acknowledging her diagnosis and urging them to be screened — that she planned to share in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sadly, she didn’t make it to October. However, her staff released the letter posthumously and, in light of what happened, it is especially meaningful:

Hi there ~

As you may have recently heard, I revealed that I have been LIVING life to the fullest with Stage 4 Breast Cancer for the past six and a half years. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my message is this:

Early detection can save lives! Get regular mammograms, and/or tell your loved ones too. Low cost or free mammograms are offered through many national programs and community organizations, so do your research.

Even if you’ve been screened, and you have a gut feeling that something in your body is off, get a second opinion!

Cancer does not have to be a death sentence! You, or someone you love, can live an extraordinary life regardless.

Be kind and be grateful. Never underestimate the power of your mind. Embrace what you love, and LIVE life to the fullest, as tomorrow is not promised to any of us.

Whatever your pain or struggle in life, don’t allow it to turn you into a victim… let your battle turn you into someone else’s hero! For the month of October I will donate 20% of my self-published book sales (see below list), with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Keep your comments coming on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter… you know I love hearing from you. I’m off to keep writing!

Stay healthy, stay lucky and take chances!

Jackie’s sister, Joan, who was unaware of her sister’s diagnosis until a few weeks before she died, stepped out Tuesday for the BFI Luminous Fundraising Gala at The Guildhall in London. The Dynasty alum, who appears in The Royals, wore a white and black dress and covered up with a black fur.

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Joan Collins out in London on Oct. 6

Joan penned an emotional tribute to her sister, who only told her daughters about her stage 4 diagnosis. In it, she said that Jackie “wasn’t just a star — to me she was an entire galaxy.”

Joan wrote, “I don’t think I will ever recover from the sadness of losing my beautiful baby sister. Someone once said, ‘The reality is that you don’t “get over” the loss of a loved one, you learn to live with it.’ I think Jackie would have liked us to do more than that. As she requested, I will not mourn her death, but rather celebrate her life.“

That’s the best thing she can do. That’s the only thing she can do.