At 25 years old, Stephanie Lanctot captured the hearts of many.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer more than a year ago. Last month, she found the strength to walk down the aisle at the Elisabeth Bruyere Centre to marry her longtime boyfriend, Michael Lamb.

But after a long and hard battle, Stephanie passed away on Saturday. Her family now hopes her legacy will be about spreading awareness.

"She just couldn't fight anymore," said Stephanie's mom, Maggie.

Stephanie had a hysterectomy, underwent chemotherapy and tried experimental treatments to try to get rid of the cancer.

Her sister remembers her for her strength. She did everything she could to keep going; she wanted to live.

But despite her efforts, Stephanie's family believes she was diagnosed too late.

Cervical cancer has few symptoms and women need to be vigilant in order to catch it early. Stephanie's family says women need to get regular pap smears, and girls aged nine to 26 should consider the HPV vaccine -- a shot that is considered extremely effective in preventing cervical cancer. Her family also believes there needs to be more research.

  • 1,300 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed every year in Canada
  • Cervical cancer accounts for two per cent of all new cases of cancer in women
  • Most cases occur between the ages of 30 to 59

A cervical cancer fundraiser in Stephanie Lanctot's name will be held Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at La Cage Aux Sports at 7 Montclair Blvd. in Gatineau. For tickets, contact Marie-France at 613-784-9862, or Pascale at 613-371-2225.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem