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Goodbye, beloved soulmate

Guest yannick

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AT the tender age of 21, Home and Away star Jodi Gordon last week buried her boyfriend of two years after he succumbed to a rare and aggressive form of leukemia.

The Logie-winning actor was by Chris Burkhardt's side when he slipped into a coma a week ago and died the next day.

Burkhardt was 23.

Gordon was deeply in love with Burkhardt, describing him as her "beloved soulmate".

Gordon, who plays feisty Martha Mackenzie on the popular soap, was supported by many of her Summer Bay castmates, including Holly Brisley, Tim Campbell and Ray Meagher, at Burkhardt's funeral in Sydney's Lane Cove on Thursday.

Gordon found it difficult when addressing those gathered at the funeral, breaking down several times as she recalled her deep love for Burkhardt.

In her speech, she said Burkhardt had taught her "how to live life and how to laugh".

In the past few months Home and Away producers had altered scripts to allow Gordon more time with Burkhardt and his family.

"Jodi's been in and out of work the past few months, spending time with Chris and his family," a friend said.

"I know Jodi is thankful to the show's producers, who have made every effort to accommodate what she's been going through the past few months.

"They've changed many of her scripts to allow her time with him."

Gordon is believed to be spending time with her family.

A statement issued by Channel Seven on behalf of Gordon said: "Brave and beautiful to the end, Chris had battled leukemia since being diagnosed in May 2006.

"Jodi, along with Chris's family, thanks everyone for their incredible love and support.

"Channel Seven and the Home and Away team send their love and support to Chris's family and Jodi."

Gordon, one of the rising stars of the Home and Away set, was named best new female talent at the Logie awards last year.

But her smiles and elation on the night hid a tragic secret.

The day before the gala event, the couple was told Burkhardt was suffering acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive and rare cancer of the white blood cells in the bone marrow -- usually found only in people older than 40.

Burkhardt started immediate treatment and watched Gordon collect the prized statuette from his hospital bed.

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That's really, really sad news. It seems like only two minutes ago that he was diagnosed. Thanks for the article Yannick and the double post has been deleted, thanks for the edit.

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I'm really shocked. I guess you never really expect these things to happen. My condolences go to his family and of course Jodi, this must be really hard for her - it really does feel like two minutes since he was diagnosed. :(

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