Friends and family will honour the life of Beth Hutchinson with one of her favourite pastimes.
A celebration of life tea party will be held on Saturday (Nov. 2), 1-4 p.m. at Gracepoint Community Church, 3497 King George Blvd.
The young South Surrey woman passed away last Friday after a more-than-four-year battle with terminal brain cancer that began when she was 16.
Her story touched dozens in the community, who came together for Beth’s cause, working to raise thousands of dollars for her alternative treatment.
Beth’s father, David Hutchinson, told Peace Arch News the tea party is a homage to Beth’s love of the brewed drink.
“Beth always thought that any situation could be improved with a cup of tea,” he said Wednesday.
“She drove me crazy – she had lots and lots of different teas at home. She had pots and pots and pots of them. She even had her own tea she made at this place in America, at a place that lets you pick your own leaves, it was called Beth’s Brew.”
David had been a vocal advocate for Beth’s treatment, sharing the painful story of losing his wife, Kay, to cancer only to find out shortly after that his young daughter was diagnosed with the deadly disease.
Despite the hurdles faced by the Hutchinsons, both maintained a positive outlook and worked to ensure Beth was seen as more than someone who had cancer.
In April, Beth shared her story with PAN, stressing that while cancer consumed certain aspects of her life, at the core, she was a regular 20-year-old woman.
“Cancer has changed me, of course, but it hasn’t affected my personality. It hasn’t changed my interests. I’m still that girl who loves Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings,” she said. “I think the misconception is that you suddenly become this total cancer patient, but many people have had no idea what I’ve been going through the last four years.
Beth took her message further by creating videos and posting them to her Facebook page, Beth’s Brain, which was ‘liked’ by nearly 850 people.
David is asking for donations to two of Beth’s favourite causes in lieu of flowers.
Cheque’s made payable to David Hutchinson will be split 50/50 between the Make-A-Wish Foundation – which made it possible for Beth to visit New York – and The Canadian Honey Council’s Save Our Bee campaign.
Visitors to the celebration of life are being asked to eschew black clothing for brighter colours, and if there any Tiffany-blue items in the closet, the better.
“She loved Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Audrey Hepburn,” David explained. “So if they have Tiffany blue, that would be perfect.”