Clare Dixon, fondly known as Clara, was a very talented violinist for the BBC Philharmonic for 33 years.  She has been described more than once in the many tributes to her ‘as bringing sunshine’ and was much loved by her husband Peter, family and friends.  Clara clearly had a passion for life, music, horses, mountain climbing and people and looked the picture of health.  Clara died of oesophageal cancer in March at just 56 year old.

Like many people Clara had some issues with heartburn and acid reflux.  All really wasn’t well from 2019 and with COVID taking over from 2020 Clara struggled to be seen by a Doctor.  When she was finally seen, she was referred to hospital and then in October 2021 she was properly diagnosed, tragically losing her battle to oesophageal cancer in March 2023.

Peter, Clara’s husband, and also a member of the BBC Philharmonic as Principal Cello, is determined to raise awareness in honour of Clara’s memory and help make a difference.  He has joined forces with HCUK to raise funds via The Clara Dixon Trust which has already raised over a fantastic £13,000.   Peter is starting an amazing and heart- warming challenge of climbing all 214 peaks in the Lake District, many of which he has trodden before with his beloved Clara.  He will leave a pebble at the top of each with Clara’s name.  Peter and Clara were described by Peter’s daughter Madi ‘as a truly devoted couple who had only ever been apart when Clara had to stay in hospital because of her cancer’.

Peter has already started his challenge and Heartburn Cancer UK will follow his progress over the coming months.  We are incredibly grateful for Peter’s support and determination to make a difference, especially in this the charities 20th anniversary year.  It will help us continue our work to raise awareness, drive the need for earlier diagnosis using a new test called the Cytosponge, and support those living with oesophageal cancer or an associated pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s oesophagus.

Please share to help raise awareness that Heartburn isn’t always harmless.  If you suffer from persistent heartburn for more than three weeks, see your doctor. 

Our thoughts are very much with Peter and his family.

You can follow Peter's challenge on his Twitter account or if you wish to support him by making a contribution please donate here.