Dr Donald Acheson was a dedicated GP working in Essex, a devoted husband to Clare, and Dad to Cian, Alex and Robert .
He died in October 2016 from GBM Multiforme after a short and devastingly progressive illness lasting just thirteen months.
The additional cruelty was that not only did he have to exchange being a full time doctor to become a full time patient but he also knew about the nature of his terminal illness and what to expect.
He was incredibly calm and accepting of his fate and wanted to ensure that his family would be well supported and provided for after his death.
Donald and Clare actually met when they were both working within the same General Practice ( Clare as a District Nursing Sister ) and were jointly caring for Keely, who was just nineteen and also had GBM Multiforme.
She died and Donald looked after her family for many years afterwards.
Donald was born in Portadown, Northern Ireland and moved to Belfast as a very young child . He attended Queens’ University in Belfast and later came to Newbury to undertake his GP training .He subsequently moved to Essex when he joined his practice.
Donald was a very enthusiastic sports’ fan and continued to follow Ulster rugby . He was a voracious reader , particularly of his political and historical interests.
Friends would say that they loved his wicked sense of humour and downright sense of the ridiculous . He was also a very vocal and knowledgeable member of various quiz team events , known as “ the Quizmaster!”
He was great company socially and loved to tell a good story…..
He loved good food and wine and was a very keen BBQ host!
He was a family man who loved to spend precious time off and down time with Clare and the boys. He particularly enjoyed supporting the boys’ sports teams and events and gave them tremendous support .
Donald was a talented golfer and was hoping to find more time to play during his well earned retirement. Sadly, that never happened.
There were some lovely family holidays over the years which now provide very precious memories.
He was a very popular member of the local community in Shenfield, Essex , where he , Clare and the boys had lived for over seventeen years at the time of his illness.
Donald, like so many others who suffer from this terrible disease , had his life cut cruelly short. He was fifty four when he died.
He would be so honoured and proud to be part of the legacy for Headcase Charity .
A memorial dinner and ceilidh held for Donald took place Nov 2018 in Shenfield , Essex . It was a huge success and a wonderful testament to him . A healthy sum was raised for the Headcase Charity and Donald would have been so pleased to be able to help in this way.
We have to keep hope and faith that one day , there will be a cure for this dreadful disease.
Thank you so much for reading this, remembering Donald and supporting the charity .