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27th May 2022

Remembering Pip Sotelo

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Carolyn Sotelo or ‘Pip’ as everyone knew her, was not one for the limelight. But after leaving a gift in her will, her partner Mike wanted to show that even in death, Pip’s legacy of kindness lives on.

“Pip had always been generous. She had always given to charity throughout her life and she knew she wanted to do the same when she died. If we ever had a fight, she would laugh and say ‘Well, that’s less for you and more for the charities!’

Pip chose to remember many different charities in her will. There was a real eclectic mix – from cancer charities to animal ones. Given Pip’s diagnosis, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation was an obvious choice though and one of the primary benefactors.

Pip was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2019, a day before my 70th birthday. It came completely out of the blue. She had had absolutely no symptoms. We were at the bus stop on our way to get supplies for my birthday party when she began to feel unwell. We went home and she had a seizure.

Scans revealed a brain tumour which was operable. However, we soon learnt that the brain tumour was a secondary cancer and the primary tumour was in her lung. We knew then that palliative care was our only option and she started on chemotherapy and immunotherapy, of which she had 29 cycles.

Upon learning this, Pip was adamant that she wanted to support charities in her will, and particularly smaller, more specific charities like Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. Pip had been a heavy smoker, albeit quitting over 10 years ago, but she knew there were many people who still get lung cancer despite never smoking. She wanted to help the charity find out more about the other causes of the disease.

Pip gave selflessly. In fact, she would probably hate the fact that I am sharing this with everyone. She didn’t like the limelight but I am just so proud of her and I want her endless generosity to be remembered. It gives me great comfort to know her legacy could help save the life of someone else.”