A talented jazz musician, Geoff Barlow feels he has had a fortunate life, blessed with the support of his close-knit family and a successful business in financial services. It was this strong family support, that helped Geoff and his family endure first the death their son Chris and then more recently granddaughter Bethany.
Together with his wife Kath and Bethany's mother Lyn, Geoff established a charitable fund account with Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation to honour the memory of Bethany, who died from a very rare form of brain tumour at the age of 15.
"Bethany was a beautiful young girl, who was doing very well at school," said Geoff. "She had a very strong Christian faith, and always attended church with her parents."
It was Geoff and Kath who noticed that Bethany was not well on a shopping trip to buy shoes. Bethany's condition progressively got worse and she was admitted to the Royal Children's Hospital.
Geoff says that the doctors were amazed at Bethany's kind and caring nature even though she was undergoing intense and difficult treatment. "She was the most unselfish person, she always asked how you were and was always giving, even though she was undergoing her cancer treatment."
Bethany's passion in life was to become a midwife and assist pregnant women in developing countries. She began her fundraising appeal 'Bethany's Blue Box' and with the support of Christian Blind Mission her fundraising appeal has reached $90,000. The funds raised are now providing pre and post natal care and support to women and mothers.
"Even though she was seriously ill, Bethany continued to fundraise and always encouraged others to give right up until her death. Bethany will always be an inspiration to our family and we plan to honour her memory and continue her work through our charitable fund account."