Helen Smith, who died 26 October 2010 at the age of 35, just 13 months after the devastating diagnosis of Cholangiocarcinoma. Before Helen's diagnosis, we'd never heard of this cancer and had no idea how devastating it would ultimately be.
Helen was happily married and mum to 1-year-old Ella. She had recently returned to work following maternity leave as a dedicated and much loved primary school deputy head teacher. Her initial vague symptoms, such as tiredness, were put down to being a new mum and returning to her busy job. But a CT scan revealed she had several tumours in her liver which originated from the bile ducts. Helen had several rounds of chemotherapy which, for a while kept the disease stable, but did not give the much longed for 'tumour shrinkage'. She applied for clinical trials but despite her resilience and determination to seek every available option to help her remain with her family, we were all shocked at how quickly she deteriorated.
Time marches on, but we will never forget what a special person Helen was and the best friend you could wish for. Through Helen's JustGiving page, and her friends taking part in fundraising events over the last 6 years, we were astounded and delighted to see £26,000 has been raised for AMMF so far in Helen's memory.
Fundraising is important so that vital research can continue into finding new and life prolonging treatments for this awful disease. Helen would be humbled that so much money has been raised in her memory - and the thought of losing more special people like her, will ensure we continue our efforts for this special charity. Thanks to AMMF for all that you do.
We were blessed with 25 years of friendship. Helen will always be with us and will remain in our hearts - best friends forever.
Rebecca, Nikki, Becky and Jo