Here for families facing grief.

Harriet, Rob, Thomas and Lulu's story

Rob was a pilot in the Royal Air Force and was fit and healthy. He had never smoked, so when he was diagnosed on his birthday with incurable stage IV lung cancer it was a huge shock to him and his wife Harriet. Rob died within a year of being told the devastating news. He was just 42. Rob’s young children Thomas and Lulu were aged just 8 and 6 years old. Harriet took part in the Ruth Strauss Foundation’s peer support group and found it to be very open, yet structured. “I felt I could’ve talked about anything." Having a point of contact was reassuring to Harriet, knowing she could talk to someone if she needed support.

“Being told that you’re doing a great job. You’re doing everything that your kids need. We’re here if you need us... brought immeasurable comfort.”

Sam, Matt, Josh and Poppy's story

Matt was diagnosed with brain cancer in March 2018, having lost his peripheral vision whilst on a dog walk. At the time Matt was 43, very fit, healthy and had never smoked. His diagnosis came as a total shock. Matt and his wife Sam’s thoughts immediately turned to their children, Josh 7 & Poppy 5. They knew straight away that they wanted to be open with their children, to allow them to ask any questions about his illness and ensure they felt informed, talking to them in an age-appropriate way.


The Ruth Strauss Foundation provided Sam and Matt with vital pre-bereavement support, including guidance on how to best inform Josh and Poppy of their dad’s incurable illness, what potential questions to expect from their children, changes in behaviour to look out for and the importance of involving their schools.

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