In memory of Jan, forever much loved. - Barts Charity

In memory of Jan, forever much loved.

When Bernard’s wife Janet was diagnosed with blood cancer, his world was turned upside down. Janet sadly passed away in June 2023, and Bernard shares how creating a Tribute space in her memory was a great comfort to him, her friends and family.

  • Date: April 9, 2024

Watch Bernard tell his story, and read more below.

Janet’s cancer diagnosis and treatment

Janet and Bernard were happily married for over 40 years when Janet was suddenly diagnosed with myelodysplasia syndrome, a rare type of blood cancer. She was treated at St Bartholomew’s Hospital for five years, before sadly passing away in June 2023.

When thinking back to when they first met all those years ago, Bernard remembers:
“I saw this beautiful little thing with long hair and big brown eyes. I was just too nervous to speak to her, but I saw her again when I was 16, in a shop where she worked. We were together ever since.”

At first, Janet responded really well to treatments, and was able to carry on doing all the things that she loved. Bernard says, “she did everything she wanted – she still ran and swam, and we travelled. The treatment she had was so good. I’m so grateful for that extra time – I can’t thank St Bartholemew’s Hospital enough.”

Four years soon passed, until Janet suddenly started to feel unwell again. The cancer had now developed into advanced acute myeloid leukaemia. She was admitted back into St Bartholemew’s Hospital, where they began chemotherapy and stem cell treatments, but her condition continued to deteriorate. Janet died peacefully in Bernard’s arms in June 2023.

A MuchLoved Tribute space for Janet

Before the funeral, Bernard set up a MuchLoved page in Janet’s memory, to help raise money for Barts Charity. He asked those attending to make a donation instead of bringing flowers.  Bernard said, “Jan was always thinking of others, and I knew she’d be upset at the thought of people buying flowers when that money could be spent helping others.”  

MuchLoved allows friends and family mourning a loved one to create an online memorial space, where people can add memories, pictures, music and video, as well as lighting virtual candles in their memory. You can also create a donation page to support the charity of your choosing. 

So far, Bernard has raised over £4,700, in honour of Janet and the care she received at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.  “She wouldn’t believe how much money she’s raised – the page has just gotten bigger and bigger, with everyone adding thoughts and memories,” he explained.

The Tribute space has also been a great way to honour Janet’s memory.

“For me and my family, that page gives us comfort. It’s like a living memorial, with photos and memories of everything she enjoyed. It gives me and my family something to look at, to see how many people loved her, who she cared for.”

Bernard and Janet

Janet in Paternoster Square near St Bartholomew's Hospital

Fundraising for lifesaving research

Bernard hopes that the money he’s raised in Janet’s memory will continue to fund life-saving research. “The more money we’re able to raise, the more hours of research can be done. Those hours could be what tips that research over the edge, in finding a cure and extending people’s lives.” 

Bernard would like to thank the staff at St Bartholemew’s Hospital and Colchester Hospital, where Jan was first admitted: “All of the staff moved mountains with Jan. They gave me so much, and I can’t thank them enough.”

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