Delphi turns her heart to the future after double sadness

BOUNCING BACK: Delphi McWilliam with her late grandfather Clem Curtis, lead singer with 1960s' chart-topping group The Foundations.  Photo supplied.
BOUNCING BACK: Delphi McWilliam with her late grandfather Clem Curtis, lead singer with 1960s' chart-topping group The Foundations. Photo supplied.

A Whaplode St Catherine teenager is showing strength of character in thinking of others after two shattering losses in consecutive weeks.

Delphi McWilliam was in shock after her grandfather, lead singer with 1960s’ chart-topping British band The Foundations died on Monday, March 27, aged 76.

But the loss of Mr Curtis, who sang on The Foundations’ 1967 number one hit Baby, Now That I’ve Found You, was worsened for Delphi exactly a week later when she lost her pet labradoodle Penny to cancer.

Delphi said: “My grandfather had prostate cancer and lung cancer but he hadn’t undergone any chemotherapy because he’d been fighting so many infections. It was still a shock when he died, even though I knew he was poorly.

“Grandad was quite special because he was the only grandparent who played an active role in my life and I used to go and stay with him quite a lot.

“But he had a huge family and hundreds of friends, whereas Penny had me and I had her.

SOUL MATES: Delphi McWilliam with her late labradoodle Penny that died of lymphoma last week.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
SG140217-111TW.

SOUL MATES: Delphi McWilliam with her late labradoodle Penny that died of lymphoma last week. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG140217-111TW.

“We shared everything together, went everywhere together and she was my go-to girl when my grandad passed away.”

Penny was diagnosed with lymphoma, or blood cancer, in November 2015 and Delphi’s efforts to raise money for her pet’s quality of life treatment were reported by the Spalding Guardian in February.

Delphi said: “We raised about £700 that will hopefully be going to Dick White Referrals of Cambridgeshire, a specialist veterinary centre where Penny was treated for 16 months.

“Not everybody understands the bond between an owner and a dog but so many people got in touch through social media, post and email.

“Grandad was quite special and he had a huge family and hundreds of friends, whereas Penny had me, I had her and we shared everything together

Delphi McWilliam, of Whaplode St Catherine

“It was really special that they went out of their way to support me and even though it doesn’t take away the pain of losing Penny, it’s nice to know that other people care.”

Delphi has turned her attention to finding ways of raising money in her grandfather and pet’s honour.

That effort has been boosted by an upturn in fortunes on Monday when Delphi passed her driving test.

She said: “I was a bit worried because it was on the Monday exactly a week after my dog passed away and two weeks after my grandfather died. But I thought they’d both be looking down on me and it was nice to have a good Monday, rather than a bad one.”

Delphi’s fundraising plea for cancer-stricken Labradoodle