In 1960 Susan Eastwood, aged six, passed away from leukaemia. Determined to build something positive out of personal tragedy, her parents started fundraising for research that would find a cure for leukaemia.
That was how the very first voluntary branch in Middlesbrough began, and our charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research has grown from there thanks to the tireless dedication of thousands of supporters across the UK. The result is that 50 years on, more people than ever before are surviving blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
Susan's sister Sylvia Gaunt says: “Thinking about Susan’s death in 1960 is still painful after all these years. We were a normal family hit with a bolt out of the blue. Back then, if a child got leukaemia, it was a death sentence.
"We knew Susan didn't have long so it was a question of making those last few weeks as good as we could for her. Now, most children survive. My parents started the charity and it just grew and grew. My mum was a very shy woman, but Susan's death changed her. She felt she could not lose her daughter and do nothing about it. It goes to show that you should never give up hope, if we had we would never have changed anything."
Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research now have over 700 tribute funds, each set up to remember a very special person. We are so grateful for every contribution - big or small - made to our tribute funds. Click here to find out how you can start your own tribute fund for someone special.