We pay tribute to our dear friend and colleague, Chloe Gibson, having lost her battle to terminal cancer.
We, like so many others, were devastated by the loss of our Head of Organisational Development and Resources, Chloe Gibson, last week.
Our thoughts continue to be with her loved ones, especially her family with whom we have been in contact with as we all struggled to come to terms with the news.
Chloe started working at Notts County Foundation in 2017 and made an instant impact. Due to the nature of her role, it is difficult to pick out ‘key’ moments during her time here, but it is easier to identify the influence she had on the people around her. She was described as ‘Notts County Foundation through and through’ – which epitomises her time here. The sense of welcome from her was felt by everyone who passed through the office. She embodied the values we work to represent.
Outside of the office, she had a strong passion for Netball, and this was another way she brought people together in the Foundation. She organised a staff Netball tournament to bring the whole organisation together to compete and share her passion. This was a great memory for all involved and is something that is now held dear in their memory.
Our leadership pairing of CFO Sam Crawford and COO Emma Trent spoke on the passing of their close friend: “Chloe was so much more than just a colleague; she was a good friend. She was someone who would always have time for others and go out of her way to make people feel welcome. She was incredibly passionate about what she did. She was a pleasure to know, a pleasure to work alongside and it was our pleasure to call her a friend. We’ll miss Chloe immensely but are so thankful for the time we had with her; she was a truly special person.”
When she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in August 2022, it hit all of us at the Foundation incredibly hard, but Chloe, being her ‘glass half full’ personality battled the disease strongly with a positive mindset. When diagnosed with a Stage 4 Cancer, many may have understandably felt defeated, but not Chloe. That’s just not the person she was.
A quote from her LinkedIn post just two months ago shows the positive outlook she had on her life: “I’m just taking it day by day and making special memories that can be treasured forever. At the moment, I’m feeling great and trying to enjoy the normal things in life and making memories with my family and friends.”
In the time since her diagnosis, she made so many memories. One of which was her visit to Wembley Stadium last month to watch Notts County gain promotion to the Football League. A memory we all share together now as one of the best days in this great club’s history.
Starting in February this year, on Chloe’s 40th birthday, Notts County Foundation staff aimed to complete over 700 hours of exercise in a month to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK. The 700 hours was chosen to represent the number of hours Chloe had undergone chemotherapy treatment.
By the end of the month, the team had achieved over 1000 hours collectively and was responsible for generating a newfound interest in exercise from both the business team and The Portland Centre staff alike. An exercise bike was set up at the entrance to our community leisure facility in the Meadows, where staff would take hourly turns to contribute to the challenge. Sarah McCamphill started learning to swim to increase her exercise contribution and driven by the inspiration drawn from her good friend’s battle, is now capable of participating in triathlons. Chloe visited The Portland Centre as she was determined to contribute to the fundraiser, despite her illness. She managed half an hour on the exercise bike, which highlights her fearless determination.
By the end of the month, 2 days after Chloe’s final chemotherapy session, we raised £2,545 for Pancreatic Cancer UK, which we are incredibly proud of. It is unacceptable that more than half of people diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer die within 3 months. Survival rates have improved enormously for most cancers, yet for pancreatic cancer, this is not the case so fundraisers like this are vital.
Sport and Inclusion Manager, Sarah McCamphill pays tribute to Chloe: “Chloe was one of the most kind-hearted people I ever crossed paths with. She was always willing to listen when things got tough but always willing to celebrate the good times too. In my first few months here, Chloe played a pivotal role in my success, having my back from day one. Always there to tell me how well I was doing, despite my lack of self-belief. She believed in me.”
“We had so many laughs together in the short time we worked together before her diagnosis but grew a friendship that I will cherish forever. Chloe may not be here now, but her legacy of kindness, generosity and determination will live on through those who encountered her in their life.”
“I have the upmost respect for Chloe’s journey as she battled with her diagnosis and took it on like a true warrior. She was a true inspiration to us all but especially me. Chloe’s journey was one that was close to home for me, and I resonated with on a very personal level. I count myself very fortunate to have met and journeyed with Chloe over the past year. Lots of love to you Chloe. Forever in my heart. Always a Warrior.”
This week, the community that she had developed around her came together in response to the sad news. We received hundreds of heart warming messages from across the CCO network, with kind words and condolences to support Notts County Foundation staff. The common words used in response to Chloe’s passing from bereaved colleagues is that they didn’t class her as just a colleague, but a friend. Chloe brought the team together like nothing had ever done before and that is how she will be remembered.
Health Manager, Josh Stevenson remembers Chloe: “Chloe was one of the kindest people I have met. I was struck initially with how kind and helpful she was at work. She made life easier and ensured we had a laugh. I will never forget how competitive Chloe was, especially when talking about Netball. We had many laughs playing sports with staff.”
“Following her diagnosis, it was clear to see how inspiring Chloe was, due to how determined she was to fight her illness, but also to keep getting the most out of life. I will look back and cherish those Monday morning workouts with Chloe and her mum during her treatment. They will forever remind me of how much of an inspiration she is. She pushed through the circuit training whilst chatting away about the things she had done recently. She always tried to get the most out of life.”
After her diagnosis, she visited our Cancer and Rehabilitation Exercise (CARE) programme to keep up with her fitness and social life. Chloe was a huge supporter of our CARE programme, that supports hundreds of people at any stage of their cancer journey through group-based exercise.
Finally, we would like to extend our gratitude to Notts County Football Club chaplain, Rev. Liam O’Boyle, whose support during this tough time is appreciated by us all.