Melton mum backs hospice campaign after losing her dad while heavily pregnant

Catherine Ashman-Lee (right), who is supporting the LOROS Forget Me Not flower campaign, with her mum, Kate Wilkins (left) and friend, Rachel Starkey EMN-180713-125650001
Catherine Ashman-Lee (right), who is supporting the LOROS Forget Me Not flower campaign, with her mum, Kate Wilkins (left) and friend, Rachel Starkey EMN-180713-125650001
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A Melton woman is supporting a hospice fundraising campaign in memory of her father who died when she was eight months’ pregnant, and never got to see his new granddaughter.

Catherine Ashman-Lee, who is 30, has bought a £25 wrought iron ‘Forget Me Not’ flower in aid of the LOROS hospice charity, which supports terminally ill people and their families in Leicestershire.

Each flower sold in the summer campaign, which aims to raise £35,000, has been made to symbolise the life of a loved one who is no longer with us.

Catherine’s flower is in memory of dad Vyv, who died aged 61 from skin cancer shortly before she gave birth to her second child, Charlotte Cariad.

She said: “Dad died on New Year’s Eve last year, a few days after his birthday.

“My baby was born just three weeks later, so he never met his granddaughter.

“Part of her name is to remember my dad.

“He was Welsh, and Cariad means ‘love’, I know that would have made him smile.

“I’ve bought a Forget Me Not flower for my dad because LOROS was so important to him before and during his care.

“It was a really special place for him.”

Hearing Vyv had been diagnosed with melanoma was a huge shock for Caroline and her family.

But they began to feel positive after he underwent several sessions of radiotherapy following surgery.

Sadly, his condition deteriorated, and they were told on Christmas Eve that nothing more could be done for him and that doctors were going to stop the treatment.

Catherine recalled: “My dad had just taken early retirement when we were told he had cancer - we were devastated.

“Before he was diagnosed, ironically he and my mum had decided that they wanted to volunteer at the hospice when they retired.

“The day he was supposed to be having an interview at the hospice to volunteer was the exact same day he was told he needed surgery for the melanoma.”

Vyv ended up attending LOROS as a patient with treatment from the lymphedema clinic and counselling to help him cope with his condition.

Catherine urges others to support the Forget Me Not campaign to remember a loved one.

The hand-crafted flowers have been made by The British Ironwork Centre at Oswestry. They measure 17cm in diameter and fit on a 43cm iron pole.

The £25 cost of each one would cover the cost of an hour of care at the hospice.

Go online at www.loros.co.uk/support-us/events/2018/07/02/forget-me-not-flower-appeal to buy a Forget Me Not flower.