Family's fundraising tribute to brave Hartlepool policewoman
A charity has thanked the family of a Hartlepool woman who died from an aggressive brain tumour for raising thousands of pounds for medical research in her memory.
Former police officer Pamela Henderson, 69, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in January 2019 and just six months later lost her life, leaving behind her husband Ralph and four brothers Ian, Cedric, Keith and Mark Williams.
Since losing Pamela, Mark, 56. and his family have been dedicated to fundraising in her name, raising £7,000 – the equivalent of 2.5 days of research – for the charity Brain Tumour Research in her memory.
Mark, 56, Pamela’s youngest brother, said: “In January 2019, Pamela was visiting Ralph at University Hospital of North Tees, where he was being treated for a minor illness, and she collapsed and ended up being admitted herself.
"She was very fit and healthy, so the medics thought that ‘stress’ or ‘exhaustion’ may have caused her to pass out.”
Eventually, a brain scan was carried out and the results revealed a marble-sized tumour.
Surgery wasn’t an option, due to its location on Pamela’s brain, and her condition was diagnosed as a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – a highly aggressive type of tumour.
Mark added: “It’s been particularly tough for Ralph. He and Pamela met in the police force and were married for 34 years.
The fundraising is continued and Mark’s brother Cedric, who runs Hartlepool Marine Supplies, is donating a replica model of Hartlepool’s own HMS Trincomalee – at 200 years old, Europe’s oldest floating warship – as a prize to raise more money towards finding a cure for the illness.
The draw will take part on July 15 2021, to coincide with the second anniversary of her death.
Mark said: “Pamela was much-loved person and it was a shock and so sad to see her deteriorate so quickly. The most devastating thing about her disease was that it was untreatable and incurable.
"We want to help prevent other families from losing loved ones before their time and to contribute to the amazing legacy our sister Pamela leaves behind.”
Joe Woollcott, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We were so very sorry to learn about Pamela’s death and we send our heartfelt condolences to her husband Ralph, her brothers and all those who knew and loved her.
“Pamela’s story reminds us that brains tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. We are so grateful to Pamela’s family for fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, as they are making a difference to other brain tumour patients now and in the future.
"We wish them all the best for the prize draw next month and thank them sincerely for their support.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres and also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours.
To enter the draw to win the model replica of HMS Trincomalee or to make a donation, go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/forPAMELA