20 September 2011

Thinking of Lynn Gilderdale on her birthday

Today, we would like to pay tribute to the late Lynn Gilderdale in honour of her birthday.

Lynn was born on 20th September 1977 in Burwash, East Sussex, later moving to the village of Stonegate with her loving family – her parents Kay and Richard and her older brother Stephen – and growing up to become, in her mother's words:

everything you could wish for in a daughter: beautiful, bright, loving, accomplished, eager for life and all the delights it had in store for her”.

Kay's description of Lynn depicts a fun-loving little girl, full of smiles, laughter and chatter. With a lively imagination, she loved dressing up with her friends and cousins, making up stories and telling silly jokes, improvising make-believe radio interviews and plays in which Lucky, the family cat, often enjoyed a role, recording their play-acting on a cassette recorder. Though full of fun, Lynn also took her responsibilities seriously and was a prefect at primary school. She loved English, history and religious studies.

Lynn enjoyed the outdoors and being very active. Physically confident, quick thinking and fearless, she was a strong swimmer, enjoyed sailing and was captain of her school netball team. Lynn also loved modern dance, won prizes for ballet and took part in many school productions, including the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, in which she played the White Rabbit. She also played the piano and clarinet and sometimes thought she might become a music teacher, but one thing Lynn knew for sure was that she wanted children of her own one day. She proclaimed:

Family is the most important and precious thing in life”.

At age 14, Lynn became ill immediately following the BCG vaccination at school. While still unwell, she was struck by a bad bout of flu, swiftly followed by bronchitis, tonsillitis, glandular fever, and a chest infection. Lynn's immune system seemed unable to cope with this onslaught of successive infections and she was on strong antibiotics for months. She was later diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis and sadly never recovered. After 17 years of very severe ME and with no further hope of recovery by that stage, Lynn passed away on 4th December 2008 at the time of her own choosing, with her devoted mother Kay, as ever, by her side to comfort and support her.

Our loving thoughts are with Lynn and her family of this day 34 years ago, when Kay brought her beautiful, brave and inspirational daughter into the world to touch the lives and hearts of all who knew her and came to know of her. May this day be filled with memories of the happy times.

The full story of Lynn's life may be read in her mother's memoir:
One Last Goodbye” by Kay Gilderdale
Published by Ebury Press
ISBN 978-0091939144

Click here to read some Amazon customer reviews.

Please ask your local library and local book shops to stock copies.

Currently available to buy in several stores and also on-line in paperbook or ebook format.

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Thank you for your support.

*The Let's do it for ME! awareness and fund-raising campaign is run by ME sufferers in close cooperation with the charity Invest in ME. Your donations go directly to Invest in ME towards the UK Centre. See this campaign highlighted on the Invest in ME website here.