Linda Shepherd 20 August 1952 – 23 March 2017
Linda Shepherd was an amazing lady. She moved to France at the beginning of 21st century with her husband and at her first mammogram they found a tumour. She went through extensive treatment which she said was wonderful, but found that she needed to be able to talk about her fears and worries in her mother tongue and so Cancer Support France was born.
She worked tirelessly for the group. She once told me that this was her mission in life. She became President of the then new National Committee and in 2014 she stepped down. She at that time had hoped to go into the church but was turned down, which was a source of great hurt and feelings of rejection. However, the cancer had returned with a vengeance and taking time to sort this out, we, CSH-V, invited her to become our trainer.
At our first training session with her, being mid-treatment, she greeted us with ‘I may feel like shit, but I am not going to look like shit’! And so she started on another journey looking at diets, lifestyles and make-up enabling our Active Listeners to have a closer understanding of this terrible disease.
She co-trained with a number of trainers from other associations for H-V. She suggested for one of our ‘treat days’ for our ALs to say thank you to them for all their hard work, we had a Colour Me Beautiful session with a friend of her’s, Anne Slater, which turned out to be a really fun day for us all.
She still had close connections with CSF National and was invited to the Trainers’ Training Day and was pleased to find that a number of her suggestions had been taken up in the Initial Training Course as she still had so much experience to offer.
She did her last training session for CSH-V at our AGM on 1 March. She was obviously very ill and when she gave her Trainer’s report we all felt she was saying goodbye.
Linda had enormous compassion, a true sense of faith and will be deeply missed as a friend, as our trainer and our guide. Her legacy lives on in the associations across France and I am sure the people CSF and CSH-V have helped over the years are so grateful to her for creating this amazing organisation.