Tributes paid to Bassetlaw firefighter Karen Land after cancer battle

Staff at Harworth Fire Station have led tributes to former firefighter Karen Land, after she sadly lost her battle with cancer.

By Danielle Andrews
Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 10:25 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 10:27 am
Karen Land, 40, from Retford, was fundraising for life-lengthening immunotherapy treatment in Germany, after the cancer spread to her lungs and brain.
Karen Land, 40, from Retford, was fundraising for life-lengthening immunotherapy treatment in Germany, after the cancer spread to her lungs and brain.

Karen Land, 40, was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2017 and was fundraising to travel to Germany to receive treatment.A post on the Team Karen Land Facebook page from Friday announced that Karen had “deteriorated quite rapidly.”Karen’s mum, Susan Harvey, announced on Karen’s Facebook page on February 19 : “It is with great sadness that I have to update you that my beautiful brave daughter lost her fight with cancer this afternoon. “I appreciate everything everyone has done for Karen in supporting her through her fight.”Karen had just finished training for her dream job of becoming a firefighter when she was she was given three months to live in October. She began fundraising for innovative immunotherapy treatment in the hopes it would give her more time with her children, Luke, 23, Jamie, 19, Adam, 18, Samuel, eight, Ruby, six, and her partner, Kevin.

Fundraising activities were organised, including a 51-mile walk by fellow firefighters, Chris Binch and Gaz Mulligan, which raised almost £4,000. Before the diagnosis, Karen was assigned to Retford Fire Station, and hoped to return after the treatment. After three rounds of treatment, Karen was given the all clear in May 2018.However, after a severe headache in September forced Karen to attend hospital, an emergency CT scan confirmed she had two tumours in her brain.Harworth fire station tweeted: “Rest peacefully now. RIP Firefighter Karen Land - RDS 3/17 XXX from your fellow trainees and all at @nottsfire”

In May 2018, Channel 4 filmed a video Karen for their Stand up to Cancer campaign, which was aired nationally last year.

More than £8,000 was raised through her JustGiving page, out of a total of £30,000 needed to pay for the costs of the treatment and travel.

She said that she wanted to donate the money from the fundraiser to help women suffering from triple negative breast cancer.

More than 600 comments have been posted since Susan's update on the Team Karen Land Facebook page.

Rebecca Smith said: "Where do I start. Karen, your journey started out with your plight for basic survival but whilst a whole town mourns, we need to remember the magnitude of the legacy your journey has left.

"Yes it was about survival but it has become so much more. Your plight has put things for so many people into perspective."Karen, you have brought a huge community together. I'm so sorry we couldn't save you but I do know that because of what you gave to everyone we gave you the most basic human right of hope.

Jill Dukes added: "Karen your heart and soul will live on through your children. You changed the mindset of everyone, your inspiration and fighting spirit touched everyone and your whole world touched everyone. Sleep now my friend, one angel from this world into another. RIP Karen."

Speaking to the Worksop Guardian in January, Karen said: "There is no cure for me and even if I managed to access treatment in Germany it’s only to try and extend my life.

"If I do die before I manage to make it to Germany then anyone who has donated to my fund can express what they would like to happen to there donation via my mum and that will be carried out.

"I would just like to say a big thank you to the majority of people on my page that have supported me and helped me time and time again."