Crouch End comic Arabella Weir supports cancer day after losing family and friends
PUBLISHED: 16:09 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:09 02 February 2017
Crouch End’s comic actress and author is supporting World Cancer Day in memory of her mother, father, best friend and step mother after losing all four to the devastating disease.
Arabella Weir, star of BBC 2’s The Two Doors Down, is asking people to wear a Unity Band this Saturday as she teams up with Cancer Research UK for the global event.
The bands, on sale for a suggested donation of £2, are made of two parts knotted together, to symbolise strength in unity. Everyone who shows their support will help save more lives by funding the cancer charity to enable it to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the killer disease.
Arabella, 59, said: “I’ve lost so many of the people I love to cancer. At times it has felt like being stuck on a train track while the trains keep coming up and hitting me. I think when your closest loved ones are dying all you can do is be there for them in the way you would like loved ones to be there for you.”
The comedian, who was raised by Scottish parents and stars in the hit BBC network comedy about Scottish suburbia, has been through a harrowing few years.
Her father Sir Michael Weir died of prostate cancer in 2006, aged 81, after keeping the illness a secret from his children.
Two years later her 63-year-old stepmother, Hilary Reid who had been married to her father for 30 years, was also diagnosed with cancer and died from myeloma.
Months later in May 2009, Arabella’s mother Alison Walker succumbed to breast cancer aged 83.
However nothing prepared her for losing her best friend Helen Scott Lidgett who was just 63.
The mum of three who was special advisor to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, died from ovarian cancer on July 31 2012.
Arabella said: “I’ve got a few best friends but Helen was my absolute soul mate.
She was my best, best, best friend. She rang me and said, ‘it’s bad news. I have cancer.’ It was a July morning and I went round to her house. We opened up a bottle of champagne. Doctors said she had about a year and a half but she in fact had four years almost to the day which was pretty incredible.”
She added: “A cancer diagnosis is no laughing matter but Helen and I managed to find humour even in her darkest moments, laughing almost to the end and sharing our closeness during her treatment for which I’ll always be eternally grateful.
“I helped to nurse her and I last saw her about an hour before she died. There’s not a day when I don’t miss Helen. We were so close that I honestly feel part of me went with her.
“Wearing a Unity Band or donating is a simple and easy way to show support, to help fund vital research to develop new treatments so more families have more tomorrows.”
Emily Attwood, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman, said: “World Cancer Day provides an opportunity for people across the world, to show that together we can be a powerful force to beat cancer sooner.”
The bands which come in three different colours are available from Cancer Research UK shops and online at cruk.org.uk/worldcancerday
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the orange box above for details.