Widow of popular Ashlawn teacher organises fundraiser after losing him to pancreatic cancer

Richard Brown
Richard Brown

The widow of a popular Ashlawn School science teacher is organising a fundraising event for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Barbara Brown is organising a prize quiz, raffle, buffet and live music event at the Railway Club, Hillmorton Road, Friday, October 13, to raise funds and raise awareness for Pancreatic Cancer UK after losing her husband Richard (pictured) to the illness a year ago.

Mrs Brown, a retired teacher, said: “We hope to get as many people as possible to attend, because pancreatic cancer research needs all the cash that can be raised.

“The outstanding work that’s done for breast cancer, or bowel cancer research for instance, has led to a marked increase in survival rates - breast cancer is now 78 per cent survival after 10 years, and bowel cancer is now 57 per cent after 10 years, looking to rise by another 25 per cent over the next few years.

“Pancreatic cancer, however, has a one per cent survival rate over the past 10 years, and this hasn’t changed for 40 years. Incredible, isn’t it? It’s silent, very aggressive and research is underfunded.”

She and Richard were on holiday with grandchildren in Ireland when the former head of science at Ashlawn School began suffering with unexplained pain – he was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Mr Brown died aged 66 – just four weeks after being diagnosed.

Mrs Brown said: “Within a month he went from being fine, then he wasn’t here. The cancer was insidious, we didn’t know there was anything wrong until it was too late.

“We are not alone – people lose others to this illness all the time. It doesn’t care about age or class. Medical staff did what they could with what they had.”

Mrs Brown praised the work of Macmillan, Myton Hospices and Pancreatic Cancer UK for their support during her husband’s illness and after his death.

The two met when they were working as teachers. Mrs Brown said their eyes met across the staff room, starting a romance that would turn into a 40-year marriage.

Mr Brown was known for his sense of humour and his devotion to his pupils.

Mrs Brown said: “He believed in giving his pupils the best possible chance.”

The event will start at 7pm and tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s.

Tickets can be booked or paid for at the door.

For more information call 01788 842216 or email bab.brown@hotmail.com