Former Mayor of Croydon and founder of a local cancer care centre, Brenda Kirby, lost her long battle against the disease yesterday.
Kirby’s husband, Bob, said this morning that she had died at Croydon University Hospital, and that “she had struggled for a long time”. She was 70 years old.
Kirby was diagnosed with terminal brain and lung cancer in 2009, which prompted her to open a centre in New Addington, where she saw there was little provision for cancer sufferers.
Working with her husband and others, including local Labour councillors Toni Letts and George Ayres, she officially opened The Brenda Kirby Cancer Centre at New Addington Baptist Church in November 2011.
Kirby was made an MBE in 2010, recognising her service to the community. She served as Mayor of Croydon in 2004 and 2005, and as a Labour councillor for New Addington from 1986 until 2009, when her illness prevented her from seeking re-election.
Local people and organisations took to Twitter to show their respect for a much-admired and well-loved public figure.
All About Croydon said: “Sad to hear of the passing of Brenda Kirby MBE. She was a great person that seemed to have time for everyone. RIP. #Croydon”
Linda Cress said: “Brenda Kirby MBE former Mayor of Croydon has lost her battle with Cancer. Her work lives on in her charity BKCC. Linda Cress Trustee & Chair”
Gareth Davies said: “Very sad to hear Brenda Kirby, a former Mayor of Croydon and New Addington councillor, has passed away”
Kirby’s centre offers a range of support and advice services for cancer sufferers from the New Addington area.