SDP’s Maarit Feldt-Ranta loses her battle with cancer

The former Raseborg MP had battled cancer before and this year it came back once again.

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File picture of Maarit Feldt-Ranta (SDP) / Credit: Candidate

Social Democratic Party stalwart and former Member of Parliament Maarit Feldt-Ranta died on Wednesday after a long battle with cancer.

She was 51.

Feldt-Ranta’s husband Vesa Kallionpää broke the news on Twitter saying “the world lost a positive and bright person, whose selflessness and joy for life were pushing all boundaries.”

“Personally, I lost the love of my life, and became convinced of the need to think carefully about euthanasia. The grief is great” writes Kallionpää, a political journalist at MTV News.

Feldt-Ranta, a senior figure in the Social Democrats, halted her election campaigning in March when she was diagnosed again with stomach cancer.

The Raseborg MP’s first cancer diagnosis was in 2009, and it returned in 2013. After recovering, she went back to front line politics in 2014 and was elected again as a member of parliament in 2015.

In January before stepping down from politics, Feldt-Ranta wrote a blog post announcing her shift to a more peaceful and private life situation.

“Bad news is always hard to tell, but it is a part of life. My bad news is that my stomach cancer has recurred. That is why I will remain on sick leave as a Member of Parliament, and I will no longer be able to stand for the spring Parliamentary elections” the SDP’s second vice chair wrote in her post.

“My motto has been one day I will die, but all the other days I live.”

Tributes from political colleagues 

Tributes to the former MP have come from members of her party and other political colleagues.

Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) described her as a “strong person and a skilled MP” and there were condolences also from National Coalition Party leader Petteri Orpo. 

Left Alliance MEP Silvia Modig wrote “Maarit would urge you to be grateful for what was, and is.”