Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Caron's Spirit Is Telling Me to Carry on Her Work for Special Needs Children. Pledge for Mum as She Loses Her Life to Cancer

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Caron's Spirit Is Telling Me to Carry on Her Work for Special Needs Children. Pledge for Mum as She Loses Her Life to Cancer

Article excerpt

Byline: By DAVE ROBSON

THE husband of mum in a million Caron Atwood has vowed, in her memory, to keep fighting for the rights of special needs children.

Caron Atwood - a Gazette mum of the year nominee in 2007 - has lost her battle with bowel cancer, aged 42.

Founder and chairman of Cleveland AFASIC (Association For All Speech Impaired Children), Caron, of Marske, was a tireless campaigner for the rights of special needs youngsters.

Her involvement stemmed from daughter Naomi's dyspraxia, a motor learning disability leaving her with communication difficulties.

Now, with Caron's untimely death, husband Richard has vowed to continue her work.

He said: "Since she died, I've felt an overwhelming desire to carry on with her work, pioneering the need for special needs provision. Caron's spirit is telling me to do that."

Caron - mum to Rachel, 15, Naomi, 12 and Steven, seven - dealt with her illness like she lived her life - positively.

On diagnosis last year, Caron, who was fiercely supportive of the NHS, reluctantly resigned from her nursing role at James Cook University Hospital.

But her determination to live as normal a life as possible saw her become an exam invigilator at Marske's Bydales School.

She said at the time: "You can always get some good out of bad and that's what I'm trying to do. And if I can help other people do the same thing, that's brilliant."

Richard said: "When people asked how she was doing, she didn't want pity or sympathy. She'd ask them how they were doing and if there was anything she could do for them.

"Her way of coping was to help other people, whether through Afasic or fighting for the rights of special needs children."

Caron's inspirational determination was shown last year during a visit to several North-east language units by MP John Bercow as part of the UK's first review of speech, language and communication services for seven years. …

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