Drusillas staff have named a squirrel monkey after a brave young zookeeper who has bravely battled cancer.
Over the past year, 21-year-old Gabby Charlesworth has bravely battled and defeated adrenal cancer. Directors at Drusillas Park wanted to show their support for Gabby, by naming their new baby squirrel monkey after her.
Drusillas’ head of marketing and director said, “We are so immensely proud of Gabby. It’s hard to put into words how terrible this past year for her must have been. But she is an absolute warrior, and she fought so hard to get not only back to health, but back to work. It was all we could do to keep her away until she was recovered.
“Gabby is a truly inspirational and amazing young woman, and none of us can express how thrilled we are that we get to keep her.
“Our zoo manager, Sue Woodgate, informed us that squirrel monkeys are one of Gabby’s favourite animals, so we thought it would be a nice surprise if we named our new baby after her.”
Squirrel monkey parents Etumu and Janosch welcomed their baby on May 19. They have now started to show their little one off, proudly parading their beautiful baby around on their backs.
Gabby said, “Last year I was diagnosed with adrenal cancer. It is now seven months since my operation. Apart from taking out the tumour (I am told it was the size of a mango) with the adrenal gland, I also lost a kidney and part of my aorta and diaphragm in the process – but I have survived, when many are not so lucky.
“I was never expecting to find I had cancer. I just mentioned on a routine doctor’s appointment that my voice seemed a bit deeper. At only 21, the thought of having anything life threatening never crossed my mind. I was fit and healthy – enjoying my horse riding and job as a zoo keeper at Drusillas.”
After receiving lifesaving treatment at Kings College Hospital, Gabby said, “I am doing a skydive to raise money for Kings College Hospital and Cancer Research.
“I have never done anything like this before, but I figure now is the time to do something extraordinary with the life I have been given.”
You can sponsor Gabby and her skydive by going to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GabbyCharlesworth