My daughter never accepted it would kill her
“It was summer 2011 and my daughter, Lucy, was living life to the full. Having just worked alongside David Jason as an actress in primetime hit A Touch of Frost, it felt like she was on her way to achieving her professional dream of becoming a well-respected actress.
Lucy (right) with her sister Ruth, celebrating Ruth's graduation
“She wanted to star in a long running sitcom, to have a bijou flat in London and a cottage on her beloved Gower. She planned to paint, to ride her bike and to swim. But it wasn’t to be.
“We noticed she was losing weight. Then she developed a cough. One day in October, we picked her up from work as she was feeling very unwell. We took her to the doctor who treated her for a heavy cold. But she wasn’t getting any better. In fact, she was getting worse, becoming paler in front of our very eyes, less full of life – Lucy lived life not in the fast lane but in the very fast lane - so we took her to hospital. An x-ray finally explained what was happening to our little girl – lung cancer.
“I can still clearly remember the doctor breaking the news to use. We were devastated. We never thought it could be lung cancer.
“Lucy never accepted it would kill her. An actress to her core, she saved her best performances for the last three months of her life. She would wake up feeling pretty poorly but into the bathroom she would go, put on her make-up and was ready to face the world. She was determined to attend her step brother’s wedding early in December. She looked so beautiful and hid the oxygen tube whenever a picture was taken.
“Gradually her resistance lessened and on 9th January 2012 at 4.45am, she passed away. She was 32.
“Lucy was courageous, brave and fearless – a frightening combination for a parent! I remember one family skiing holiday when, after just two days, she thought she was a skilled snowboarder and so headed straight for the biggest jumps. She approached the last jump at breakneck speed, shot 20ft up into the air and landed flat on her back. She was air lifted to hospital where she spent a couple of nights. All she could remember was that the doctor was gorgeous!
“Lucy had a wicked sense of humour. It’s something she maintained right up until her last day. We would go to hospital to cheer her up but it would always be the other way round; she would have us in fits of laughter with stories about other patients and mimicking the staff. We always felt a lot better after visiting Lucy.”
Having spoken to Phil, Lucy’s dad, it’s clear to see where Lucy got her courage from. Since her death, her family have made it their mission to collect as much money as they can to fund research in lung cancer.
“We didn’t have any contact with Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation during this time because Lucy just wouldn’t accept that she was ill. Following her death, and reading other similar stories, we decided to support them and all the money raised from Lucy’s funeral went to the charity. We don’t want any family to have to go through what we went through.”
Keep families together. Support Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation this International Women’s Day and help us beat the UK’s biggest cancer killer.
Text Lung £5 to 70660 to donate £5 today.