Posthumous award for brave Rhona

FORMER EADT columnist Rhona Damant, whose brave battle with cancer touched the hearts of thousands, was honoured last night for her inspirational charity work with a posthumous community award.

FORMER EADT columnist Rhona Damant, whose brave battle with cancer touched the hearts of thousands, was honoured last night for her inspirational charity work with a posthumous community award.

The mother-of-two, from Great Waldingfield, near Sudbury, raised thousands of pounds for breast cancer charities before her death in November.

She also inspired countless people through her frank and uplifting EADT column portraying life with terminal cancer.

Her work was last night acknowledged with an achievement award from Babergh District Council.


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Rhona's devoted husband, David, who collected the award at a ceremony at Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club, said: “It is wonderful to receive an award and Rhona would have been very happy to receive such marvellous recognition.

“I would have preferred it if she could have collected it herself but it wasn't a sad occasion. The award is a celebration of what she achieved and her effect on people.”

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Close friend Laini White, who wrote Rhona's EADT diary when she was too ill to do so herself, said: “I think she would have been thrilled and in view of what has happened it is a fitting tribute to her and all she has achieved.

“I am proud of her but I had mixed emotions at the ceremony because it was the first event I have been to without her.

“It has been a traumatic time - I can't tell you how much I miss her.”

Laini helped Rhona arrange charity events, including her pink themed balls, until she died of breast cancer at the age of 45, the same age her own mother died of the disease.

In a submission to Babergh, Rhona's nominee, who has not been named, said: “Rhona gave so much and over the last few years has inspired and encouraged the local community to understand more about life and death.

“Rhona wanted everyone in her situation to do as much as possible and I believe she has succeeded.”

Rhona was among 25 winners of the council's community achievement awards for 2007.

Council corporate support officer Jill Barton paid tribute to all the winners.

She said: “The number of people who go out of their way to help others is humbling and proves that everyone can play a part in Babergh's success.”

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