A devoted daughter is turning the sorrow of her father’s cancer diagnosis into something positive in a rather unusual way.
Rachel Beveridge (26), whose dad Walter (65) has an inoperable brain tumour, is asking people for donations to suggest where she gets a tattoo of the Maggie’s Centre logo.
And plucky Rachel, who currently cares for her dad, who has taught in a number of Kirkcaldy schools as a supply teacher, is hoping to raise over £500 for the Kirkcaldy-based cancer caring centre.
It was at the end of last year, while working in Fife that Walter realised there was something wrong when he tried to write, but his arm refused to work properly.
His family feared he had suffered a stroke and his GP sent him for a CT scan which showed he had a dark patch on his brain. He was told he needed a biopsy, but this caused a bleed on his brain which caused further complications, leaving the left side of his body almost completely paralysed.
Doctors told Walter he had a glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour, and that it was stage four, the most serious.
“It was a nightmare time and my dad went from being an independent man to having to be cared for round the clock,” explained Rachel, who was working at a theatre in Glasgow at the time.
“He had had no headaches or blurred vision, so it came as a bolt out the blue for myself, my younger brother and my mum, who separated from my dad ten years ago.”
Walter was given immediate radiotherapy but while undergoing treatment and beacuse his immune system was so weak, he developed a flesh eating bug which prevented him from having chemotherapy.
Another scan at the Western in Edinburgh in July revealed the tumour had spread and he was given just four to six months to live.
“To hear it had spread was horrible, and it forced us to face up to the fact that we were going to lose him,” said Rachel, who moved back home to Kelty to care for her dad, with help from her mum.
The family visited Maggie’s during a visit to Victoria Hospital and were amazed by the welcome they received and the services it offered not just for Walter, who has been taking part in an art therapy course, but also for the other members.
“I’m starting a carers’ course which I am looking forward to and Maggie’s is helping us to go on living and make the most of our time together,” said Rachel.
“That’s why I want to have this tattoo to raise money for this wonderful centre, and I thought it would be good to get people to suggest where I get it, within reason, in return for a donation.”
To donate to Rachel’s venture, visit: www.justgiving.com/InkMyBodyForMaggies