Helen did indeed live well. She loved her University days, her friends, their ‘Cava days’ (to celebrate good news or see-off the bad) and graduated with a 2:1 Honours degree from Bath University in 2004. She proudly held her degree in the Abbey at Bath on that summer day and felt that her cancer was at bay – and indeed it was in remission at that time.
Helen started her first graduate job at Axa in Bristol that year and moved back in with some of her University friends in Bishopston… And then the cancer came back, spreading first to her lungs and then to her brain. More visits to the Wellington and to the London Bridge with chemotherapy and then radiotherapy, all along making use of the support, guidance, friendliness and therapies of Penny Brohn, as well as boyfriends and trips abroad – Geneva, Rome, Australia. Then, plans for marriage, brought forward when in April 2007, she was told by her consultant that she had little time left.
With her typical focus, Helen brought her wedding forward and was married on 14 May 2007. She left us on 24 July that year and was laid to rest in Oystermouth, Swansea. St Benedict’s Church in Sketty was barely able to accommodate the over 300 people who came to her Requiem Mass. Her ‘temporary goodbye’ party on 31 July was planned by Helen before she left us and saw all her closest friends celebrate Helen’s life and all the joy and happiness she brought to them.
It was Helen’s wish that her friends and family continue to support Penny Brohn and to this end have set up, along with Penny Brohn, a ‘Spirit of Life Fund’ in Helen’s name.