THE father of a 16-year-old girl who died from cancer has revealed Doctor Who was the last show they watched together, after it was announced star Peter Capaldi had become patron of an Edinburgh charity which helped her.
Michael McLean said that his daughter Millie, who died last month from a rare form of soft tissue cancer, would be thrilled to know Capaldi had taken on the role with It’s Good 2 Give.
The Craigmount pupil had met Capaldi when the family had visited her uncle David, a long-time friend of the actor, in London during a break in her punishing chemotherapy treatment cycle.
“We are so delighted he has become patron of It’s Good 2 Give,” said Mr McLean, from Corstorphine. “He was absolutely fantastic with her. My brother is friends with Peter and has been for many years. There was a break in her treatment so we went to visit and he thought it would be nice if Millie and her brothers Roddy and Alexander could meet Peter.
“At that time he knew he was going to be the new Doctor Who but it was all a big secret so we couldn’t tell anyone. Millie was thrilled. He showed us plans for the costumes, and the kids were really excited. He was completely relaxed with them, just lovely.”
Capaldi then kept in touch with Millie and her family who were receiving support from the charity It’s Good 2 Give.
“He sent her a fan from Korea when he was there, and a video message from New York when he was filming,” said Mr McLean. “He was so nice and kind. We are all fans of Doctor Who and would watch it together – the last programme she watched was the episode on the Orient Express.”
Mr McLean said that Millie had explained to The Thick of It star how she was being helped by It’s Good 2 Give through a variety of activities it organises for children with cancer. The charity is run by Edinburgh’s Citizen of the Year, Lynne McNicoll.
“After Millie died Peter sent us a lovely message and he asked David what he could do to help, so I asked Lynne and she suggested he become patron. It’s all completely sincere, but we can’t thank him enough for his interest,” said Mr McLean.
“And I can’t praise Lynne enough, it’s amazing what she does for kids. You can’t go far from a hospital when you have cancer so being able to do things like pizza-making and arts and crafts was great.”
He added: “Millie would be over the moon that Peter is now involved, she was right behind the charity. Our involvement with the charity will continue and we are delighted to be able to give it and Lynne as much publicity as possible to get the Ripple Retreat built. Lynne has told she will name a room there after Millie, and will plant cherry blossom trees outside which is something Millie really wanted.”