Jubilee joy for charity champ


A generous 80-year-old who has helped raise more than £1m for a cancer charity has told of her pride at being recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Kaylet Smedley, chair of the Derbyshire branch of the Leukaemia Research Fund, joined the charity after her eight-year-old son, Andrew, died of cancer 47 years ago.

Inspirational Mrs Smedley, of Chesterfield, has received the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to leukaemia and lymphoma research.

She said: “I’m just so humbled – I’ve had so many cards and congratulations.

“This is an accolade for everyone, not just me, who’s helped raise all that money for the cause.

“The money has provided vital funds to provide research and treatment for those with blood cancer.

“When Andrew died there was no or very little hope but now many people can be cured which is absolutely wonderful.”

Kathy Gilman, chief executive of charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, said: “Kaylet has provided a wonderful sense of family with her local supporters and is an inspiration and great source of optimism and hope for blood cancer patients and their families.”

Mrs Smedley will be taking part in the London 2012 Olympic torch relay at the end of the month and she will also be celebrating her diamond wedding anniversary with her husband, Ronald, in December.

“What a wonderful year,” she said.