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Cathy’s story

Cathy’s story – Why I’ve left a gift in my Will to Worldwide Cancer Research

"They say that 1 in 2 of us will get cancer. But it’s something that you don’t necessarily think about – not until it affects you.

Thanks to cancer research Dad and I are still here – but we miss Mum every day."

This is Cathy – a mum of two whose life was completely turned upside down by cancer in just four years.

Cathy recently told us her story, sharing why she took her first step towards the day that no more loved ones are lost to cancer, by leaving a gift in her Will to Worldwide Cancer Research.

Did you know that Worldwide Cancer Research offers a free Will Writing and Review service? This means that you can easily write or update a simple Will – and it won’t cost you a penny!

"My mum, Marion had been unwell for a while, and we’d been searching for answers but not getting anywhere. Until 2011 when she took a turn for the worse and was rushed to the hospital.

Mum was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer – and four months later, she passed away.

She never left the hospital. It was absolutely devastating. Not only had I lost my mum, but my two sons had lost their grandma.

She was a real character – full of life, generous and caring. It’s the little things that I miss most. She loved playing the piano, and she was always singing.

My dad, Brian, missed Mum terribly. But he’s always been an incredibly resilient man, and he was such a rock for us as we grappled with our grief. But then our lives were turned upside down once again.

Shortly after he lost his beloved wife – Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Months of gruelling treatment followed and it was heartbreaking to see Dad go through it – though typically, he never complained.

Fortunately, Dad responded well to treatment and was given the all-clear. He’s still in remission today and we visit him every week. He’ll be 90 soon – and we feel so lucky to still have him with us."

Cathy's mum and dad - cropped

"Sadly, there was one more blow from cancer for our family to take. I started to get excruciating stomach pains. I was diagnosed with a kidney infection, but the pain didn’t stop. The doctors investigated further – and that’s when they found the tumour in my spleen.

Not long after I lost my mum, my boys faced the heartbreaking prospect of losing theirs.

Will had just moved to Cambridge University to study English Literature, and Matthew was in his third year at London Southbank University. It should have been an exciting, carefree time. But instead, they were faced with yet more stress, heartache and worry.

In four short years, we’d lost Mum, Dad had battled prostate cancer and I now faced stage 2 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It seemed so unfair. Hadn’t our family gone through enough?

Thankfully I too was fortunate, and I am now cancer-free. I’m so grateful that advances in cancer research meant that both Dad and I could still be here. But I miss my mum every day. That's why I have chosen to leave a gift in my Will to Worldwide Cancer Research."

Cathy and her mum

"I’d always put off writing my Will – yet another piece of admin, I thought. But Worldwide Cancer Research offers a Free Will Writing and Review Service, and I was surprised by how easy the whole process was.

I feel hugely comforted that I’ve taken the first step towards finding the lifesaving cures of tomorrow, today. I hope that one day, nobody else will have to lose a loved one of their own to cancer. And I’d be so grateful if you too would consider leaving a gift in your Will to Worldwide Cancer Research."

Imagine if your gift was the gift that saved lives in the future?

Take your first step towards the day that no life is cut short by cancer.

Download our Gift in Wills guide and find out more about this special way of giving. 

Gift in Wills guide