‘I met Dean’s mum in the school playground. His youngest brother is the same age as my youngest son. It kind of struck a chord with me, with how talented Dean was with his writing and his stories…’ Paula Fry from Weymouth, Dorset, fondly remembers Dean Eastmond, the writer and activist who died in 2017 having been treated for Ewing’s sarcoma.
When Paula heard that her friend’s son had been diagnosed with sarcoma, she thought of her own children. ‘It struck a chord with me; I've got a child - three kids - a little bit younger than Dean - this could happen to any one of us.’
After Dean died, Paula felt that she should try to raise funds to support other families affected by sarcoma. ‘I've had to stand in the background and watch how this illness can pull a family apart really. The family has tried to hold it together for the younger sons while the mum and dad have had to grieve as well.’
On 28 April, Paula is running the Virgin Money London Marathon with Team Sarcoma and is feeling very motivated. She has already hosted a very successful race night and sold cakes at the local parkrun events.
Contemporary artist, Dave White, has donated one of his stunning prints to support Paula’s fundraising. ‘This beautiful image really reminds me of Dean and I’m hoping it will raise a lot of money’, says Paula. ’The support that was received by the family from Sarcoma UK was invaluable and I’d hope to see that this charity can continue their great work.’
Find out more about Paula.