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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 July 21; 335(7611): 163.
PMCID: PMC1925182

Wilma Elizabeth Gemmell

Wilma always wanted to be a doctor because she wished to care for people. She trained in general practice attached to Glasgow's Victoria Infirmary and was appointed as a partner at Barrhead Health Centre in 1993. As a general practitioner she was highly respected by colleagues and much loved by her patients.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, while feeding her son. Following treatments, she returned to work in the practice in 1999. Sadly the tumour recurred and Wilma bravely endured further treatments. She retired from her work in 2003.

Wilma was committed to raising awareness about breast cancer. She supported other sufferers through her work with Breast Cancer Care, as a support volunteer and as an enthusiastic ambassador for the charity. She had a wonderful singing voice and sang to large crowds to raise money for cancer charities. Her singing brought her much joy as she battled with her illness. She ran the Race for Life many times, once having just completed her chemotherapy. She modelled in Breast Cancer Care's Scottish fashion show on two occasions, where her charisma shone through on the catwalk.

Wilma's attitude to her illness, her courage, and her dedication to helping others was truly inspirational. She enriched the lives of all who knew her—her family, friends, colleagues, patients, and the staff who cared for her in her own illness. She is survived by her devoted husband, Gordon; her two children; and her mother.


Former general practitioner Barrhead, Renfrewshire (b 1967; q Glasgow 1989; MRCGP, DRCOG, LFHom),died from metastatic breast cancer on 27 February 2007.

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