The father of a woman diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour has shared the heartbreaking news that his daughter has died aged just 38.
Cat Anderson lived in Uppingham, having been born in Glasgow and raised in Corby where she attended Kingswood junior and senior schools.
She started hairdressing at a Corby salon in Occupation Road called Harry Coutts and latterly worked for Motor Parts Direct as a delivery driver.
Parents Margo and Rab Anderson, who now live in Kettering, will remember Cat, the eldest of their three daughters, as ‘always laughing and joking, upbeat and incredibly positive’ despite knowing the chances of her surviving brain cancer were stacked against her.
Cat was diagnosed in 2014 and died last Wednesday (June 14).
Her dad Rab said: “Cat underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, following the first of several surgeries.
“She decided to have her hair cut off before it started falling out in clumps, and it was then that Cat got the nickname Cat in a Hat from one of my grandsons because she was always wearing one hat or another.
“She built up quite an extensive collection as family and friends bought her more and more exciting headgear to choose from.
“Along with so many of Cat’s friends and family members, and despite my nursing background, I was shocked to find that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours.
“It makes no sense.
“This spurred us to set up a fundraising group known as Cat in a Hat, under the umbrella of national charity Brain Tumour Research, for which, over the years since Cat’s diagnosis, we have raised tens of thousands of pounds through a variety of events and challenges.
“Cat lived for her family and friends and believed in the power of positivity – which I am sure helped her to live as long as she did.”
Last August, Cat took on a sky jump despite her terrible fear of heights and said: “What have I got to be afraid of?
“I’ve only my life to lose.
“I have been told my brain tumour is terminal, but I am not going anywhere – I have the most amazing family, including my son Robert and my partner James, and I have so many things I want to do with my life, not least helping to find a cure.”
Her dad added: “Our lovely, funny daughter lived her life to the full, leaving us with so many precious memories.
“She had an enormous heart too.
“Her son, Robert Dunne, 18, currently at Leicester College studying photography, was her absolute pride and joy and she enjoyed the love and steadfast support of her partner, James, her two sisters, Lorraine and Elizabeth as well as of all her extensive family in England and in Scotland.
“We will all miss her terribly.”
Carol Robertson, head of community fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are incredibly sad to hear the news that Cat has been lost to this devastating and cruel disease.
“She bravely helped to shine a spotlight on this neglected cancer, which has seen treatments barely advance in decades.
“I know her family will continue her legacy.
“Significant research investment is critical if we are going to beat this disease.
“We at Brain Tumour Research are committed to ensuring that people who are diagnosed in the future will have a more hopeful prognosis.”
For more details about Brain Tumour Research, click here
Anyone wanting to make a donation in Cat’s memory can click here