On Friday 28 February 2020, Mary visited Belmont Community School to unveil a new commemorative bench in honour of Molly Patterson, who tragically died last October whilst on holiday with family.
Although it was suspected that Molly died of mumps, it was later discovered that Molly had undiagnosed leukaemia, and Mary met with Molly’s aunt Dominique, her cousin Jay and her younger sister Lilly-Ann to talk about Molly, the legacy they hope to leave in working towards early diagnosis of cancer in children, and to help unveil Molly’s commemorative bench.
Mary also met with the headteacher, Mr Paul Marsden to discuss the help the school has given to the family in their efforts to support early diagnosis, and with John Wheatley, Policy Executive at the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, one of the UK’s leading charities that campaigns on early diagnosis, and helps families with children suffering from cancer.
Mary said “I was honoured to be asked to join Molly’s family in unveiling the bench to commemorate her, and to hear the stories from them and Mr Marsden about what a well-loved and popular girl Molly was. The work they have done to raise awareness of this issue, and their fundraising, is hugely impressive. It is so important that we improve the diagnosis of blood cancer, especially in children, as recognising the symptoms early is absolutely vital to saving lives.
I hope that Molly’s bench will provide a quiet place for other pupils in the school to remember Molly, and I look forward to working with the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group in the future to do what I can in Parliament to improve the diagnosis of cancer in children.”