My dad, Leslie Ellison, passed away aged 83 on April 16, 2018, after seven weeks in Kettering General Hospital (KGH) battling sepsis as well as his leukaemia. Dad's courage and optimism were an inspiration to the end. He fought so hard to live, not least because of his absolute devotion to my mum, Barbara, having been her carer for over 40 years: they had celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary a few weeks earlier on April 1.
I launched 'Wildlife in watercolour' in October 2017, selling a calendar of dad's paintings to raise money for Cancer Research UK. It was my way of acknowledging his talent, doing some good and enabling him to see his work in print before he died. My childhood is full of fond memories of his little sketches, painted Easter eggs and animated cartoon cine films. After he and mum followed us to live in Burton Latimer in 2005, he started to keep a diary of watercolour paintings of the animals, beautiful flowers and country activities he encountered in daily life. It proved a great comfort after he was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare form of cancer, in 2014, which later transformed to Chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML). It gave him a purpose and a sense of pride, particularly once he saw how much enjoyment his paintings brought to others.
In dad's memory, I created a range of 10 charity greetings cards, paid for by mum so that 100% of proceeds could be donated to KGH. Our appeal raised over £4,000 to buy an ice machine for the ward where dad spent his final weeks and I am forever grateful to everyone who supported it. Ongoing sales of cards and the 2019 Wildlife in watercolour calendar raised another £1,000, 100% to the hospital charity to help patients with dementia.
Thank you for your interest.
Kathryn or Lindy Lou (to my dad)
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