A mother’s daughter died of a rare incurable spinal cord tumour, and her brief life will be commemorated in a tragic film airing tonight (Tuesday, April 12) on Channel 4’s The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer.
Lisa Smart, 55, of Cottenham, will pay homage to her daughter Emily Parsons, who died on May 6 last year, just six months after learning she had incurable cancer. She was 22 years old at the time.
Emily raised more than £100,000 despite her uncommon diagnosis to assist in research into tumours like hers at Cancer Research UK’s Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Lisa now intends to carry on Emily’s legacy by supporting Stand Up To Cancer, a joint fundraising drive from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 aimed at getting innovative cancer tests and therapies to those who need them the most quickly.
“Emily was really lovely and kind,” Lisa stated. She was utterly selfless in everything she did, and she was still figuring out who she was. She never showed any resentment, bitterness, or self-pity after being diagnosed, and her main concern was for the people around her. I felt so proud of her. We had an extremely tight relationship.
Emily dedicated what little time she had left to help others, and I aim to do the same for Stand Up To Cancer in her honour. This is something that no family should have to deal with. I should have been there to defend her as a mother, but I couldn’t. Saying goodbye to your baby is the most difficult thing you’ll ever have to do.”
Stand Up To Cancer has raised almost £93 million to sponsor 59 clinical trials and research initiatives around the UK since its start in 2012.