Home   Dover   News   Article

Death of Dover's Bethany Chesterton, 5, from cancer on Christmas Eve

A town has had an outpouring of sorrow after a brave five-year-old girl lost her battle against cancer.

Bethany Chesterton, of Dover, died on Christmas Eve.

Bethany with her mother Jill last autumn
Bethany with her mother Jill last autumn

Her mother Jill Chesterton told KentOnline that Bethany had passed away peacefully that morning.

She said: "We would like to express our love and thanksto everyone who has supported us."

Bethany had been confirmed as having a terminal condition in September and was given three to 12 months to live.

Her family says a celebration of her life takes place on January 14.

The Chestertons made the announcement on Facebook at 11.55am on December 24 saying:"Our beautiful Bethany Grace became an angel this morning. Rest in peace baby girl."

Bethany Chesterton. Picture from Facebook courtesy of the Chesteton family (17784360)
Bethany Chesterton. Picture from Facebook courtesy of the Chesteton family (17784360)

By Boxing Day the post had attracted 120 comments of condolence from the community.

One came from Linda Turner, who lost her own daughter, Kelly, 17, to cancer in 2017.

A celebration of Bethany's life takes place at Barham Crematorium on Tuesday, January 14.

The service is at 11.20am and the dress code is casual and no black.

Mourners will afterwards meet at Buckland Community Centre at Roosevelt Road, Dover.

Bethany, her little brother James and parents Jill and Robin
Bethany, her little brother James and parents Jill and Robin

Bethany had neuroblastoma for a third time.

This is a type of cancer that forms in certain types of nerve tissues, most frequently starting from one of the adrenal glands.

It can also develop in the neck, chest, abdomen or spine.

Bethany was first diagnosed with Stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma in the stomach in August 2016, a month before her second birthday.

After treatment it came again in August 2018 in the form of two tumours in the head.

Bethany and her parents at the Buckland fundraising day in October with deputy mayor Dominic Howden
Bethany and her parents at the Buckland fundraising day in October with deputy mayor Dominic Howden

She underwent surgery to remove them but it returned to her hips last Easter.

Subsequent treatment failed and the cancer spread through her body.

Doctors told the family on September 13, nine days before Bethany's fifth birthday, that there was no longer any hope.

Bethany's journey through her illness was chronicled in the Facebook page set up for her in 2018, Bethany's Second Fight Against Neuroblsatoma.

A JustGiving page was set up after the terminal diagnosis by family friend Katie Jeffreys to create memories for Bethany in her last months with special trips.

Bethany and dad Robin at Disneyland Paris last autumn. Facebook picture used with the permission of the Chesterton family
Bethany and dad Robin at Disneyland Paris last autumn. Facebook picture used with the permission of the Chesterton family

The first outing with her family was to Disneyland Paris in October although that particular visit was paid for by Rays of Sunshine.

Fundraising continued through efforts such as a fun day at Buckland Community Centre that month, attended by Dover deputy mayor Dominic Howden.

The first donation to the crowdfunding page had been on September 14 and by O ctober 21 the £5,000 target was passed.

A total £5,210 had been raised, 4% above what had been hoped for.

Linda Turner: she and her husband lost their own child
Linda Turner: she and her husband lost their own child

A trip to Thomas World in early December was cut short as Bethany needed to return to hospital when her condition worsened.

The Facebook page then reported that doctors said on December 10 that she was down to her last weeks or even days.

Linda Turner's condolence message on Bethany's page, written on Christmas Day, said:"I'm so sorry. Sending my love and condolences. She's with all the angel children in Heaven. Xxxx"

Linda and her husband Martin had battled to save Kelly from a rare condition called desmoplastic small round cell tumours.

A total £1 million was needed to pay for specialist treatment in New York and a massive fundraising effort by the community continued during 2016/17 for this.

But Kelly succumbed to her illness on November 6, 2017.

Bethany also leaves her father Robin Chesterton and her brother James, three.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Read more


More by this author


Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More