“In January 2021, amidst the challenges of the pandemic, my dad lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.”
One of our Trustees Lou Nylander, shares her dad Harry's story and why she is taking part in Striding for Survival 2023.
My dad, Dr Harold Nylander, fondly known as Harry, was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 18th May 1947. Growing up in the warm embrace of the extended Nylander Family, my dad was raised with a strong emphasis on education, a value he would carry with him throughout his life.
His education began at Cathedral Primary School in Freetown, followed by Model Primary School. Finally, he completed his secondary education at Prince of Wales School, renowned as the ‘Eton’ of West Africa. My dad was known for his diligence, adeptness, and unwavering commitment to his studies during his school years.
After completing his education, my dad pursued his dream of becoming a medical doctor and moved to the UK to attend Newcastle University. In 1974, he achieved his lifelong aspiration and became a qualified medical doctor. During his time in Newcastle, he met my mum, the late Vivat Nylander, and after a three-year courtship, they married in 1976.
Throughout his illustrious career, my dad had various leadership roles in the medical field. He dedicated his expertise to supporting the NHS. He held positions as a supervisory medical doctor in Her Majesty’s Prison Service – Pentonville and as a Medical Director at the King Abdulaziz Naval Base in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. His last medical post was as a GP at the Sutherland Lodge Surgery in Chelmsford, where he retired in 2010.
Mum and dad had three daughters, Lydia, Lynette and me. He was a devoted dad and provider, and he cherished every moment with us. He enjoyed visiting family and friends in the USA and the Ivory Coast in his leisure time. Additionally, he found camaraderie among fellow members of the Albert Gate Lodge, where they engaged in stimulating discussions on current events, politics, and sports.
As a fierce advocate for Sierra Leone, my dad played a significant role in founding the First Aid Community Organization (FACO), dedicated to supporting health and wellness for Sierra Leone citizens. His impact on his family, profession, and community is immeasurable.
"His legacy lives on through the profound impact he made on the lives of the people he touched, supported, or influenced, always doing so in his quiet, unassuming, and non-judgmental manner."
In January 2021, amidst the challenges of the pandemic, my dad lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. The experience of accompanying him to chemotherapy during those difficult times left me feeling both terrified and anxious. However, from that moment on, I resolved to make a difference in the fight against this devastating disease.
My dad‘s passing left an irreplaceable void in the hearts of our entire family, and in his friends, and colleagues. His legacy lives on through the profound impact he made on the lives of the people he touched, supported, or influenced, always doing so in his quiet, unassuming, and non-judgmental manner.
My dad participated in a research trial to combat the devastating effects of cancer, a testament to his commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. In memory of his passion for medical research, a cause he deeply cared about, I would love it if my friends and family would join me at the Striving for Survival event or help me by donating to PCA, of which I am a Trustee.
Striding for Survival is more than just a walk; it is a symbol of hope, resilience, and unity in the face of adversity. Through this event, we remember Harold Hercules Nylander and countless others affected by pancreatic cancer. By coming together and supporting PCA, we strive to create a future where this disease no longer claims the lives of our loved ones. Please join us in this mission and make a lasting impact. To learn more about how you can help, click the link below and join us in Striding for Survival. Together, we can make a difference.