Born in Liverpool at the end of WW2, but raised in Skelmersdale.
I first studied art in Southport from 1960-63 and worked in graphic design till I married.
In December 1969 I moved to Zambia with my husband and two young children. There I taught art in the local girls school, illustrated for the National Correspondence College and did all sorts of other artwork, paid and unpaid.
In 1985 I became ill and the following year cancer was diagnosed. There was no treatment available in Zambia and so I had to go to the UK. After recovering from a radium needle implant I went back to Zambia, but 18 months later the cancer recurred and it was off to the UK again for radical surgery.
A few months later I applied for a degree course, as I would have to work to support my family and myself and re-educating seemed a good idea. The western art world had changed so much in the 17 years I had been living in a sleepy little town on the edge of the African bush.
I applied to Liverpool Polytechnic and soon after I started I was diagnosed with carcinoma in situ of the cervix (totally unrelated to the previous cancer).
During my second year I became ill again and could hardly walk or lift my left leg. After many months it was discovered that the original tumour had metastasised to the bone and my pelvis had fractured. Radiation, surgery and chemo followed, but I graduated on schedule in 1991. This was all made possible from the support of my new partner, who would drag me back to the hospital when I was ready to curl up and die. Sadly he died very suddenly and unexpectedly shortly after Big Ben chimed in 2007 – and I remain devastated.
Because of my experience of cancer and surviving against the odds, I try and help others cope with their devastating diagnosis and prognosis. It is now 25 years since my last cancer treatment.