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Last Updated: Monday, 27 September, 2004, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Hunniford's hopes for cancer sufferers
Caron Keating was the daughter of TV presenter Gloria Hunniford
Caron Keating was the daughter of TV presenter Gloria Hunniford

TV presenter Gloria Hunniford has said she hopes a foundation in memory of her daughter may mean the difference between life and death for cancer sufferers.

She was speaking after a Northern Ireland journalist helped kick-start the fundraising campaign in aid of the Caron Keating Foundation.

Broadcaster and author Keith Baker was one of 50,000 people to take part in the Great North Run in Tyneside on Sunday - one of the world's biggest half-marathons.

Gloria said his efforts were a great start to the fund, which will be set up to aid cancer charities, following the death of her 41-year-old daughter Caron in April.

"The grief of something like this is like the Grand Canyon which I don't expect will ever close over for me personally," she told BBC Radio Ulster.

"The only thing, in a way, when you are in the midst of a loss like this, is to try and think of ways that would have pleased Caron and will maybe turn the family around and give them a focus - that old cliche of something positive out of something negative.

All our money will go to cancer in one form or another, whether its genetic or maybe research
Gloria Hunniford

"Caron, when she was very sick, used to say to me: 'What am I supposed to have learned by all of this and what am I supposed to do with the information?'

"We found the same thing. We now as a family think: 'What are we supposed to do with what Caron fought for so courageously and with such tenacity?'

"We feel the foundation is something that we can do, in so much as that if we only save one or two people's lives or help one or two people live through it, we think Caron would have been pleased."

Gloria said the foundation would be a catalyst to raise money in her daughter's name.

"All our money will go to cancer in one form or another, whether its genetic or maybe research, but we also want to help the small organisations that don't get the profile," she said.

'Great affection'

"It could be a small hospice somewhere that needs money, needs refurbishing or needs equipment.

"It could be perhaps an individual whose life might be saved rather than waiting on the national health - maybe to get some private treatment somewhere that may be the difference between life and death. It could be Macmillan Nurses who do such the most splendid job."

Keith Baker said it was a "fantastically humbling experience" to take part in the run, and would undertake such a feat again.

He said the response to his appeals for money had been phenomenal, particularly in the village of Hillsborough, County Down, where Gloria and her family used to live.

"Caron was a much loved figure and always will be," he said.

"She is held in great affection. She provides a kind of a focus for caring of all kinds. People were able to focus in on Caron and give very, very generously indeed."

The Caron Keating Foundation to Aid Cancer Charities will be launched on 4 October - the day before Caron Keating's birthday.



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