Saturday, 18 June 2016

Dawn Green...a tribute

I first met Dawn through the Christies Pseudomyxoma forum back in late 2009 just after I was first diagnosed with PMP. At that time it was the place to go on the web. There were no Facebook groups and there was no Pseudomyxoma Survivor website. This is what prompted me to write my blog. Sadly the Christies forum it appears has recently been removed, i suspect through lack of use now that the Facebook groups seem to have taken its place.

 There were far fewer of us active on the site as there are in the groups nowadays and sadly we have lost a few of the original group members to this awful disease. Chris B, Graham Davies and now Dawn.Dawn was an active member way back then and her determination to make a difference was evident even then.

 Dawn soon teamed up with Angela Brook and started creating the Pseudomyxoma Survivor Charity that we all know today. I was lucky enough to be involved with them both in helping to set up the buddying system that they offer to those who need it. We held discussions on Skype on a few occasions (often when I was at work on my lunch break!) to discuss ideas and how to practically make it work.

I finally got to meet both Dawn and Angela in person at the first ever International Psuedomyxoma patient forum held at Basingstoke Hospital on the 13th May 2013. It was a great day where I was privileged to talk at the forum along with Dawn and Dr Amani Albedah. Just two weeks before Dawn was given the news that there were no longer any surgical options for her and it was inspiring to see her take the stage and talk so passionately about the charity she had created. At the end of Dawns speech she was met with a round of applause and I was sat next to Paul Sugarbaker and clearly remember hearing him remarking above the sound of the applause “such a brave lady”. And indeed Dawn was, it must have taken a huge amount of strength and resolve to get up there in front of all those people and talk so passionately about the charity given the news she had recently been given.

Dr Amani Albedah, myself, Brendan Moran, Dawn Green & Tom Cecil

 That evening we were all invited to a black tie event commemorating the 1000th Pseudomyxoma patient to be treated at Basingstoke Hospital. With a live band and the men dressed in their penguin suits and ladies in their cocktail dresses it was a great evening and we danced the night away. Tracey and I sat with both Dawn and Angela and I remember Dawn being so full of energy and constantly nipping off to talk to people and circulate the marquee. Tracey and I tired from the long day retired and left them all dancing away….

Dawn continued to work hard at the charity and travelled far and wide meeting fellow patients, attending events and offering support wherever she could. With the charity growing, more help was required and a number of trustees joined to help keep things running. More recently with Dawns health sadly deteriorating it was clear that it was all becoming very hard work for her and ultimately she decided to step down as the CEO. A step Im sure that she must have found extremely difficult indeed knowing just how much she lived and breathed the charity. It needed to be done though, it was time for Dawn to concentrate on herself and her two daughters who she loved so much.

Dawn did what so many of us only thought about doing whilst battling this awful disease and created a fantastic Charity that has, and continues to support so many patients and carers around the globe who face the devastating news that they or a loved one has Pseudomyxoma Peritonei. Through the darkest of times the charity offers help and support when people need it most and brings light to the darkness.

Dawn has left a legacy to be proud of and we will miss her big smiles and selfies with Chico. Our heart goes out to her family at this difficult time. 

As I write this I have been listening to Pink Floyd's Endless River album. As I finish the post the album is drawing to a close, the last track is called "louder than words" and seems very fitting. For what Dawn did for so many people was indeed louder than words... this ones for you Dawn!

Rest in peace Dawn….

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