A woman from Kew has been commended by the Queen for her work for a pediatric cancer charity.
Shirley Clark, 63, has been recognized for her services to people with neuroblastoma at the charity, Neuroblastoma UK.
The Queen’s Birthday Honors are presented in honor of the extraordinary achievements and service of people from all walks of life, in the United Kingdom, on the occasion of the Queen’s official birthday.
Shirley, who participates in a charity drive in Kew
Shirley became involved with Neuroblastoma UK as a fundraiser and volunteer nearly 25 years ago, after the loss of her daughter Joanna.
Joanna sadly passed away in 1995 when she was just eight years old, after being diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer.
Shirley joined the Board of Trustees in 2006 and became the charity’s secretary in 2015 until retiring in December 2020.
Shirley said: “I am incredibly honored to have been awarded a medal by the British Empire and humbled to stand alongside so many remarkable people. Being a trustee at Neuroblastoma UK has been a big part of my life for the past 15 years; it’s a great charity that does great things and it was a privilege to work with many dedicated and inspiring people.
“Great strides have been made in neuroblastoma research over the years and I am proud to have been a part of it. But more needs to be done to ensure no other family loses a child to this one.” terrible cancer like us. By being involved with the charity I made sure that my daughter’s death can make a difference in the future for children with neuroblastoma.”
Throughout her time with the charity, Shirley played a vital role and remains passionate about raising money for neuroblastoma research.
Shirley has been a staunch encourager to marathon runners in London, supporting hundreds of volunteers across the country to raise money and raising thousands of pounds for research through her own personal efforts.
She took part in the Thames Bridge Trek in 2016, for the 21st anniversary of Joanna’s death, and raised over £2,000.
Shirley completes the Thames Trek in 2019
She completed the challenge a second time in 2019, in the same month as running the Kew Gardens 10k as part of Richmond Runfest, her first 10k in 37 years.
Tony Heddon, President of Neuroblastoma UK, praised her dedication. He said:
“Shirley really deserves this recognition during the Queen’s Birthday Honours. She is a key member of the collective Trustee team and has made significant contributions to all aspects of the charity.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that without Shirley’s commitment and effort over the past fifteen years, the charity would have struggled to be as effective as it has been in raising funds to support groundbreaking neuroblastoma research. From sending out mailings to working with families and taking on her own personal fundraising challenges, she has made a huge difference to our cause and we are so incredibly proud of what Shirley has accomplished. ”