Kathie Burton, Chief Operating Officer at Penny Brohn Cancer Care, talks to our presenters Ian and Kylie about Pat Pilkington's life and work.
Pat, who was 84, died on Monday after being diagnosed with cancer herself. She had set up the Penny Brohn Cancer Care foundation in 1980 together with Penny, with the aim of providing a more holistic approach to cancer care.
Prince Charles is Patron of the Penny Brohn Cancer Care charity.
It was my great good fortune to have known Pat Pilkington for the best part of 30 years, and to have seen at first hand how her boundless energy, spirit and positive outlook helped to transform the quality of so many lives through her work with Penny Brohn Cancer Care formerly known as the Bristol Cancer Help Centre.
I met Pat on several occasions, together with her husband, Christopher, who was a huge supporter of all that she did and I remember being incredibly impressed by their passion and commitment when I opened the charity’s new premises at Clifton, in 1983. There was a real sense of pioneering work that they both espoused and I greatly admired what she achieved with a genuinely integrated approach to the care of cancer sufferers.
Pat, and Penny Brohn herself, always emphasised the importance of treating the whole person - something we often talked about. Today, managing the impact of a cancer diagnosis, offering advice and help with vital elements such as nutrition and providing emotional and spiritual support, are all part of the complementary provision at Penny Brohn Cancer Care, which I have seen for myself, and for which we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Pat.
It is my profound hope that her rich legacy will be recognized for every ounce that it is worth and that many others will learn from her inspiring work.”
– HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron of Penny Brohn Cancer Care.
Pat's energy, spirit and vision have helped transform cancer care. Her focus on caring for the mind and the spirit, as much as the body, was revolutionary 30 years ago. It is a testament to her legacy that this is very much the norm today.”
– Francesca Barnes, Chairwoman, Penny Brohn Cancer Care