Parents of Sophie Cutts accept posthumous award

Professor Steve Chapman, Principal of Heriot-Watt University, Dr Robert Buchan, Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, and Tracy and Craig Cutts, Sophie's parents.

The parents of a Heriot-Watt student who succumbed to cancer just before the start of her final year have accepted a posthumous Diploma on her behalf at the University's Scottish Borders Campus degree ceremony. The diploma was presented by the Chancellor, Dr Robert Buchan, and Principal Professor Steve Chapman.

Sophie Cutts was an experienced cancer fund-raiser following her mother Tracy's diagnosis with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 1997, when Sophie was only seven years old. Following Tracy's successful treatment for the disease Sophie and the family continued their charity fund-raising programme, and in 2009 Sophie, from Middlesbrough, started a Design for Textiles course at the School of Textiles and Design, where she was a described as a dedicated student with a very distinctive style.

However in January 2012 Sophie herself was diagnosed with breast cancer and although, following treatment, she was preparing to enter her final year of study, she died, aged 21, in September 2012.

Throughout her treatment Sophie continued fund raising activities in support of cancer charities, including taking part in the Race for Life in June 2012, during her treatment.

Sophie enjoyed the fact that she was given a scarf and wig to help cover her thinning hair during her chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. However she felt that the scarf was plain and boring and she wanted to use her skills as a textile artist and traditional screen printer to design, make and print interesting scarves for fellow young cancer suffers.

Sadly due to her deteriorating condition she didn't get chance to follow through her wishes, but her parents, Craig and Tracy Cutts, are determined to do so in her memory.

One of Sophie's scarf designs will be made up solely for free distribution for cancer patients attending the Holistic Centre in Middlesbrough where she herself received treatment, and her other design will be sold, with all the proceeds split between Sophie's favourite charities. The for-sale scarves will be available on the Sophie Cutts fundraising Facebook Page.