Family's plea after beautiful Chesterfield mum and 'shining light' at Derbyshire hospital loses cancer battle aged 35
The heartbroken family of a ‘beautiful and kind’ Chesterfield mum who this week lost her battle with cancer is urging women to attend vital checks.
Rebecca Clarke 35, died from cervical cancer after a long battle with the disease, which claims the lives of more than two women every day according to Cancer Research UK.
Rebecca’s colleagues at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre, where she worked as a GP liaison officer, described her as the ‘face’ and ‘shining light’ of their surgery.
Rebecca leaves behind her six-year-old daughter Florence.
Her father Phil Clarke said cervical cancer was ‘highly preventable’ and urged women to attend their smear tests.
"I don’t want any father to be in the position my family is now, grieving for our beautiful and kind daughter and trying to comfort her little daughter, our granddaughter,” Phil said.
“I would urge all fathers and husbands to play a part in encouraging the women in their lives to make their own health a priority.”
Rebecca’s mum Julie encouraged women not to ‘end up like our darling daughter’.
She said: “I know smear tests are unpleasant and no-one looks forward to them, but I would ask any woman who receives a smear test appointment to attend. And if you don’t receive an appointment, chase it up.”
Rebecca had worked at Barlborough Hospital since it first opened its doors in 2005, as Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre.
She started as an assistant occupational therapist, helping ensure patients’ homes were safe and properly equipped for when they returned home after surgery.
In 2016, Rebecca was promoted to the position of GP liaison and marketing co-ordinator, a position in which colleagues say ‘she really thrived’.
Hospital director Steve Booker said Rebecca was ‘a shining light and very talented too’.
"She progressed in her career and she was known to all our patients, taking a genuine interest in them and their treatment,” Steve said.
"She was also the driving force behind a lot of the hospital’s fundraising and promotional events.
“She was known and respected by the local GPs, as she would visit them to talk about the service.
"Mostly recently she had become an excellent photographer, taking wonderful photos of our patients as, post-surgery, they got back to the lives and hobbies they loved.”
To donate in Rebecca’s memory, visit www.jostrust.org.uk