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Little Dee’s name lives on

NAME STILL OUT THERE: Devante Beckford

AN ANNUAL charity event set up by Rose Beckford after her son died from cancer months before his 13th birthday is now growing into a major community event supported by several hundred local people.

When the selfless mother’s son Devante died from a childhood cancer known as neuroblastoma in October 2012, Rose’s world collapsed, but she refused to let grief take over her life.

She launched the Do it for Dee – Fight the Big C charity and has since raised more than £6,000, which is helping to spread the message about the condition to families.

Now she hopes to supply those who suffer from the disease with essential items when they are in hospital to ease what is the most traumatic time for stressed families.

“I remember being in and out of hospital so much with Devante, often with no notice and I didn’t even have a toothbrush with me,” said Rose, who is a solicitor with Birmingham-based McGrath & Co.

“We’re still in touch with Devante’s old school Lyndon Road in Solihull and they continue to be so supportive of any fundraising ideas we have. We recently did a sponsored walk which has brought in £1,000 and we continue to donate to the Neuroblastoma Society.”

Her third Do it for Dee event was held at the Cap Centre in Smethwick and attracted well over 500 people. Her brothers have become involved in the family event, which is also supported by her parents Emma and Trevor. Unfortunately one brother, Kevin, was killed in a car accident in 2010.

She said: “I met someone the other day who I didn’t know but she knew me and said she was really looking forward to the event. It’s good to see that Dee’s name is still out there.

“Losing a child is something you simply have to live with. I was dealing with a client recently about something on May 29th. Without thinking I said ‘Oh that’s my son’s birthday’ but I didn’t go on to tell her he was no longer here to celebrate it. He would have been 15 this year.

She continued: “We owe it to Dee to do all this in his memory. He was in a lot of pain for quite some time before he was diagnosed but he bore it all so bravely and never complained. Even when we had to break the news to him that he had cancer, his response was so positive. He said ‘cancer can be cured.’ I don’t want other children to have to go through the same thing.”

If yu want further information about what the charity does please visit:

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