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Yorkshire Stars: the Bond family

Press Contact

Emma Jacob


As Karen Bond began to make plans for last year’s festive season, the furthest thing from her mind was coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis in the family. But in November 2021, Karen’s husband Steven was told he had kidney cancer.

Karen Bond with son Edward dedicating a Yorkshire Star

Karen recalled: “When we found out that Steven had cancer, the bottom fell out of our world. The time between diagnosis and the removal of his kidney was just five weeks. Things moved really quickly.

“He had the surgery on 16th December, so we had a very strange Christmas. Then right in the middle of it all, our son Edward turned five, so we had a birthday party for him. I was just trying to run life and school and jobs and birthdays and Christmas. It was horrendous leading up to Christmas, I’ll be honest.”

The family spent Christmas 2021 together at home in Sheffield, as Steven recovered from his surgery.

Karen continued: “Edward thought it was amazing because we had the whole week together and he spent all of Christmas Day in his pyjamas. It was a quiet Christmas, but Edward got to play with all of his toys, and we had Christmas dinner delivered to us from Steven’s sisters.”

Edward and dad Steven wearing coats, hats and scarves at a festive event

Six weeks later, Steven met with his doctor and was told he’d recovered well enough from his surgery to begin immunotherapy, a treatment which helps the immune system fight cancer cells.

After finishing his first round of immunotherapy, Steven had a 12-week break from treatment to recover from side effects but has since started a second round of treatment. Recent scans have shown that the treatment is working.

Karen said: “We’ve had some scans and our latest results are looking positive. We’ve still got a long road, but it’s been a dark few months for us, and we needed a bit of happiness.”

This Christmas, Karen and Edward are getting involved with Yorkshire Cancer Research’s Yorkshire Stars campaign.

The charity is inviting people to dedicate a Yorkshire Star and show their support for people affected by cancer. People can celebrate someone who has recovered from cancer, thank those who have shown their support, recognise someone going through treatment, or remember a loved one who is sadly no longer with us.

The stars can be decorated with messages and photos, and each star will be featured on the Yorkshire Stars online gallery. A physical star will also be added to a Christmas tree at Yorkshire Cancer Research’s Harrogate shop.

The Bond family decided to get involved in the Yorkshire Stars campaign as a way to acknowledge people who have supported them since Steven was diagnosed with cancer.

Karen added: “I think the Yorkshire Stars campaign is such a good campaign It’s a nice thing as Christmas can be a difficult time for people. It’s a good way to remember and acknowledge people and if we have a star on the tree, it’ll help us to remember and be thankful for the things we have.”

The team at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield have been a fantastic support to the Bond family, and Karen chose to dedicate her star to Jimmy, a nurse who has been with Steven throughout his treatment.

She said: “I’m going to dedicate my star to Jimmy, who is Steven’s assigned personal nurse. He’s brilliant. He explains everything to us in layman’s terms and if Steven is worried, he’ll call and leave a message for Jimmy and Jimmy will always call back and assure Steven that we’re doing well. I think he’s a really nice guy, and I’m glad that we’ve got him.”

Edward added: “I coloured my star in for daddy and Grandad Pop, because they were ill, and Grandad Pop is in heaven.”

The family’s stars will be displayed on a tree in Yorkshire Cancer Research’s shop in Harrogate, alongside dedications for other Yorkshire Stars across the region.

Find out more about Yorkshire Stars

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