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Tributes paid to ‘compassionate’ and ‘caring’ Grantham woman who led cancer support group

Tributes have been paid to a “compassionate” woman who helped and supported others who faced cancer like she did.

Julie Harrod, who set up the Grantham ChemoSabes, passed away on June 12 aged 59 after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

After battling through cancer five times, Julie remained “one hell of a fighter”, said Joe del Brocco, Julie’s husband.

Tributes are being paid to Julie Harrod.
Tributes are being paid to Julie Harrod.

Mr Brocco added: “Apart from being a lovely wife and a really protective mother, she was compassionate, resourceful and caring.”

Julie battled breast cancer twice, but she also carried the BRCA gene which mutated into ovarian cancer 20 years later.

Whilst she received treatment during lockdown, Julie was asked to front a cancer support group and thus the Grantham Chemosabes was born.

Julie (left) with husband Joe.
Julie (left) with husband Joe.

The group provided help to anyone affected by cancer, and they were invited to share their experiences, concerns and seek support.

Joe thought the group was a “brilliant idea” and that the family was “really proud” of Julie for the work she did with it.

Joe added: “When you go on the cancer journey, people forget about the people who are helping those that have got it.

Julie with members of the Grantham ChemoSabes at Ropsley railway.
Julie with members of the Grantham ChemoSabes at Ropsley railway.

“It is part of their journey as well. Julie thought she would set up a group to help people like that and like me.

“In a way it helped her get through it, she was fighting one hell of a battle.

“She had it five times, and you think twice is enough, but five times is too much.”

Julie Harrod and son Alex.
Julie Harrod and son Alex.

Julie also worked in the Lincolnshire Fire Service support teams.

Mark Baxter, Lincolnshire’s chief fire officer, said: “It is with great sadness that we learnt of Julie’s death.

“She was a truly wonderful part of our fire family and had been battling cancer with typical Julie stoicism, humour and the greatest of integrity.

“Our support teams are such a vital part of what we do and we will remember her as a loud and proud member of Grantham fire station, and the service as a whole.”

Julie was also mum to Alex Harrod and step-mum to Marcus and James del Brocco.

In her family notice, it said Julie was an “inspirational, brave and courageous soul who lived for those she loved, leaving precious memories of nothing but fun and laughter.

“A tough old bird but we loved her so much.”

Julie’s funeral will take place on Thursday, July 13, at St Wulfram’s Church at 12.30pm.

It is requested that no black is worn and bright colours are worn instead.

Donations are being made to Grantham ChemoSabes, St Peter’s Hill surgery and The Fire Brigade Benevolent Fund (Grantham).

These should be forwarded to Robert Holland Funeral Directors in St Catherine’s Road.

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