On Wednesday one of Auckland's most inspirational "girls about town" died at home, surrounded by friends and family. Helena McAlpine was a regular on the social scene and everywhere she went she made people laugh.
Spy knew McAlpine to be a no-nonsense, get-things-done girl who liked to work hard, often for others. She also enjoyed life to the full on the Auckland social scene.
A former C4 television presenter, McAlpine was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and since then has helped to build awareness about the disease, fundraising on the frontline and becoming a poster woman for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.
In December last year, McAlpine, who has a teenage daughter, Shannon, married the love of her life, investment banker Chris Barton, in an enchanting forest ceremony in Opoutere, surrounded by the close-knit group of friends who had been with her throughout her seven-year battle.
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In 2012, the cancer she had been fighting came back and the prognosis was terminal.
In November that year, friends surprised her with a party for 1000 people at Vector Arena. Her tearful but joyful reaction was a priceless moment that will always remain with the guests.
McAlpine had a bucket list she kept ticking off as she fought hard to stay alive for everyone around her.
Helena has met her final challenge with dignity. On behalf of the many Aucklanders you touched and entertained, Helena, thank you. You have provided inspiration to all and many fun and sometimes naughty times.
A spark has gone from the scene. You will be missed immensely.