Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Mother’s memories help boost chemo appeal

07:30 31 August 2012

Barbara Bidgood, pictured with a photograph of her late daughter Catherine.

Barbara Bidgood, pictured with a photograph of her late daughter Catherine.

Archant

Moving account of daughter’s death to inspire support for hospital campaign.

A BARNSTAPLE mother who lost her 14-year-old daughter to cancer has written a moving account of her grief.

Barbara Bidgood’s daughter Catherine is thought to have been one of the first patients to receive chemotherapy treatment at North Devon District Hospital after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in August 1980.

She underwent three courses of treatment to help battle the aggressive form of blood cancer but died on the Caroline Thorpe Children’s Ward just seven weeks and three days later on October 5.

Some 30 years on, Barbara, 81, hopes her poignant essay about the experience will give comfort to others and help galvanise support for the hospital’s Chemotherapy Appeal.

Mum-of-three Barbara, from Roundswell, said: “I’ve never written anything like this before. I believe I’m distantly related to H G Wells on my mother’s side but this all started with Catherine, who started to keep a journal about what was happening to her and how she was feeling.

“I picked up threads of that as I thought what she went through was an important story to tell.

“A lot of people who have read it have said it helped them and put their own worries into perspective.

“I feel it’s better that it’s down on paper now, rather than in my head.”

Barbara and her husband Bernard, 85, intend to make a donation to the Chemotherapy Appeal but hope their story will inspire others to add their support to the campaign to build a new treatment centre and day unit at their local hospital.

“Catherine was one of the first, if not the first, to be treated with chemotherapy on this ward,” said Barbara, who worked on the hospital’s Petter Ward for nearly a decade.

“I’m right behind the Chemotherapy Appeal – the new unit is going to be an absolutely fantastic resource for North Devon.

“Catherine was given treatment at Barnstaple because the onset of her condition was so quick, but it’d be nice to think that a new unit could mean people do not have to travel to Exeter for treatment.

“If I could inspire people to make a donation in Catherine’s memory I’d be very pleased.”

Barbara has kindly offered Gazette readers the chance to read the article she has written about her daughter’s death. It will be available to read at our offices in Old Station Road, Barnstaple in return for a small donation to the Chemotherapy Appeal. Please ask Nicola or Sue on reception for details.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 19:14
Devon and Cornwall's new Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez

New commissioner will ‘put policing at the heart of communities’

Read more
Yesterday, 12:50
Clive Ferris' drawing of his lost ET walking stick - have you seen it?

Have you seen an ‘extra terrestrial’ stick? Its owner is hoping to be reunited with it

Read more
Yesterday, 08:53

Police are seeking witnesses after vehicle acting in ‘suspicious manner’ stopped in Combe Martin and driver approached young boy yesterday (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 07:30
Braunton's big wave surfer Andrew Cotton.

Will you hop on your bike and join the 240-mile trek from Surrey to Saunton Sands beach?

Read more
Yesterday, 07:30
David Whiteland, 84; Neil Whiteland, 51; and Alex Whiteland, 18. Picture: Sarah Howells

Family-owned business in Bideford is celebrationg 60 years of success.

Read more
Thu, 16:40
Natalie Jones. Picture: Michelle Ley

A 31-year-old has been charged with causing the death of Ilfracombe’s Natalie Jones after fatal collision last August.

Read more
Thu, 15:37
Torrington Mayfair 2016. Pictures: Sarah Howells

Torrington celebrated its annual Mayfair tradition today (Thursday) - view the photos and catch up on the action here.

Read more
Thu, 12:00
The Bideford Secondary Modern reunion at Durrant House Hotel. Picture: Sarah Howells

The Bideford Secondary Modern girls’ reunited at the at the Durrant House Hotel after 65 years.

Read more
Thu, 09:31
Author Stephanie M Turner shows the new book to some of the Combe Martin Primary School pupils who contributed.

Short stories written by Combe Martin schoolchildren have made it into a professionally published book.

Read more
Thu, 09:30
Chulmleigh RNIB volunteer Christine Smith has been responsible for raising three quarters of a million pounds for the charity.

Christine Smith has dedicated more than 40 years to the RNIB plus countless other local and national charities

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications