Teacher Who Beat Cancer Killed in Car Crash

Vauxhall Cars

A teacher who beat cancer has been killed in a car crash while driving to her first day back at work after treatment.

Caroline Nelson was ­returning to her job at a special educational needs school in Helensburgh, Scotland, after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in June.

The 45-year-old bravely ­chronicled her battle against the illness on Facebook, the Daily Record reports .

The mum-of-two wrote at the start of last month: “Treatment begins this week. Gonna kick cancer’s butt!!!”

Workmates and pupils were ready to welcome her back to ­Parklands school on Monday after she completed her final round of radiotherapy.

But she was involved in a crash on the A818 at Daligan, Argyll and Bute, and died at the scene.

Caroline, a former Glasgow School of Art student, was told by doctors in June she had cancer.

She had only recently split from her husband, the Still Game actor Sandy Nelson and moved to a new home in Arrochar with her two boys, who are six and eight.

On June 23, she wrote: “I have cancer and I’m single again. Not sure which will shock you more!

“I have been ­diagnosed with low grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Blood tests are good so I’m not a high risk at the moment. About to have a bone marrow biopsy.

“If nothing in that I can get ­radiotherapy and begin treating it. If there is something in bone marrow, back to monitor with regular blood tests. This could be for months, years, decades then it’s chemo (not that my hippy dippyness wants that in my body).

“This is not a post for sympathy (any sad face emojis will get a right telling off… I’m not dead yet) but my moods and emotions have been strange and will continue to be until I get to a better place with this, so forgive me.”

Caroline added: “Send positive vibes, pray, whatever is your thing. Like my beloved art school I’ve been battered down. And from the flames the Phoenix will rise. Peace everyone. Love ya loads. Xx”

She published many updates for her hundreds of Facebook friends, detailing how each radiotherapy session at the Beatson oncology centre in Glasgow had gone.

On September 21, Caroline told how emotional she had felt after completing her final radiotherapy session.

She thanked people for helping her to pull through.

Caroline wrote: “Almost cried when I said goodbye to the girls in my ­treatment room.

“Treated myself to ‘meatballs’ at Ikea for tea. What a way to finish. Thanks for all your support and love and good wishes to all who are on this weird and scary journey too.

“Celebrating Autumn equinox with a firewalk tomorrow. New beginnings!”

Caroline had begun fundraising for cancer charity Macmillan, taking part in the recent “mighty hike” from Callander to Killin. The firewalk was also to raise money for the cause.

Caroline had remained on good terms with Sandy, her husband of 11 years.

The actor, writer, and ­musician played John Wallace alongside Mel Gibson in Braveheart and appeared in several episodes of Still Game as Chris the postie.

Last night, Caroline’s family were too upset to speak of their loss.

In a statement they said: “Caroline’s family are devastated and appreciate all the help and support they have received over the past few days.”

Sergeant Paul MacPherson appealed for witnesses to the crash at 9.10am on Monday involving Caroline’s ­Vauxhall Meriva.

An elderly couple in another car were taken to hospital.

Sgt MacPherson said: “Although a number of people stopped to assist at the time, I am still keen to hear from anyone who may have either witnessed the crash or indeed who saw the cars on the road prior to it happening.

“If you have any information that you think may assist our inquiries, then please contact us via 101.”

● Non-Hodgkin lymphoma attacks the lymphatic system, making victims more vulnerable to infection.

● In the UK, more than 12,000 people are diagnosed but the cause is unknown.

● Low-grade tumours don’t ­necessarily require immediate medical treatment, but are harder to completely cure.

● High-grade lymphomas tend to respond better to treatment and can often be cured with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

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