The photo was taken Nov 2014 during a day retreat in Marratxí, which Krista personally drove Ella to | Vicki McLeod

The founder and president of the Cancer Support Group Mallorca, Krista Hyer B.E.M. died on Monday January 17 aged 74. Her sudden and tragic death has inspired many heartfelt tributes to her kindness, and dedication to others. Krista was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to British Nationals Overseas in the New Year’s Honours list at the end of 2019.

Having lost her sister to cancer Krista understood firsthand the struggles for both the patient and family and in 2011 when a friend, Sue Burrows was looking for a group in Majorca, Krista said that if there wasn’t a cancer support group that she would start it. Krista then went on to create a powerful, dynamic community of people, helping patients and their families and offering her professional counselling services for free.

Krista with Jackie Codd (left) and volunteers at the Giving Life to Death festival

Over the years Krista added services such as translations, nutritional advice, practical help and the list never stopped, she always had ideas of how the group could reach and help more people. With Krista at the helm fighting for recognition CSG has now become well known, not just in the expat community, but they have also been invited to form part of different groups run by local town halls as well as Ibsalut and the Govern Balear.

Krista Hyer

Krista was also awarded the Citizen’s Award by Calvia Council in 2013. Thank you to everyone who has contributed their thoughts, and we are sorry if we have not managed to include your message. A celebration of Krista’s life will be held later in the year. Our deepest condolences to Sam, Mark and Anat, Charlie, Sivan, Eden, Ally, Caroline and all of Krista’s family. Krista was so much to so many, a friend, a colleague, a sister, a mum, a grandma, and she will be missed by all.

Helen Pitt

“As everyone that knew Krista will say, she was an amazing woman with a passion for life and helping people especially with regards to cancer. It is a privilege for me to call her a friend. Cancer has taken many things from my life, but I can thank it too as without it I would not have met Krista and shared so many things both ups and downs and lived with such a true friendship. There was still so much that she wanted to do, and this world is a sadder place now she is not in it. So many of us will miss her in our lives but she will live on in our hearts forever.”

Ann Spence

“She was my rock when my husband died. God bless you my dear.”

Ann Calverly

“I was shocked and saddened to hear of Krista’s passing. I’ve known her for at least 15 years and she was an awesome inspiration. I made friends with Sue Burrows the first week she arrived, we had lots in common and did a bit of exploring together. A few months later her husband arrived and we didn’t see as much of each other, then she got cancer. She beat it and her life with Mike was sweet. Then it came back, Sue called me immediately to say she didn’t feel she could burden Mike with her feelings about it, ‘do you know of a Counsellor, Ann?’ she asked. I knew Krista was a professional counsellor so I got on the phone to her and suggested she contact Sue and that was the start of the Cancer Support Group in Majorca. My lovely, beautiful friend Sue passed away on New Year’s Eve, nine years ago. She was supported by Krista and the CSG until she left Majorca on December 19 2012. Sue and Mike asked me to make this embroidery as a tribute to the treatment Krista helped organise.”

Anita Vince, CSG Committee member and friend to Krista

“I’m struggling to find the words to express what an amazing lady she was. So selfless and full of a vibrance for life. It’s very hard to believe that she is no longer here to spread her words of wisdom and she will leave a huge hole in the Majorca community. I’m thinking of the family at this difficult time. She had so much more to give, she was relentless in her support for others and she was definitely taken far too soon. Forever in our hearts.”

Diane Hughes

“I was fortunate never to have needed Krista in a professional capacity, but I was lucky to count her as a friend. Apart from Krista´s innate kindness, she was very funny, sassy and humble; an extremely talented sculptress and someone who had packed more into her life than most. She recounted incredible stories of her youth that made you laugh out loud. She was so modest about the BEM (which I don´t think she ever got to collect) she was almost embarrassed – she said it wasn’t all about her. Typical Krista. So many people said this week it was a privilege to have met her and that is so true. The last time I saw Krista she was in a very good place with a twinkle in her eye and a sparkle about her. That is how I will remember Krista. Just lovely!”

Angela Mcgrath

“I am so very sad to hear of the passing of our beautiful friend Krista. She spent so much of her life looking after and helping everyone else. Nothing was too much trouble for her. She started Cancer Support more than ten years ago with Sue Burrows, at the same time we started the Cancer Charity Shop. She used to have a small part of the shop for meeting people who needed to talk and get advice, and grew her charity to what it is today with amazing volunteers but she was always hands on and at the end of the phone. Life is so cruel. She was in such a happy place. Why are some of the best and kindest people taken too soon?

Sending lots of love and prayers to all the family. I am hoping that the Cancer Support group volunteers will have the strength to carry on her amazing work. She was a very special lady and will be always remembered and so missed. On behalf of everyone you touched, thank you. Rest In Peace.”

Chris Coleman

“My family came across Krista when my wife developed cancer. She travelled the journey with us, literally right to the end. She is (I say is, because her legacy shouldn’t end) without a doubt one of the most incredibly special people on this planet. She is one of mankind’s most kind, selfless, caring and compassionate people. This world needs more people like her and Majorca is worse off without her here. She is an example to all.”

Suzanne Garaty

“Krista was a colleague and very much a friend. I have been a CSG volunteer and their nutritionist for six years, Krista was the most caring and respectful lady to work for. She believed in me and it felt like such an honour to be involved in her caring and dedication to every cancer patient. A true earth angel, I feel lucky to have known her. She touched so many lives, held so many hands and helped patients through their darkest times. Nothing was too much trouble for Krista. When my dad recently died Krista was a rock, so understanding and kind. We both recently took a course together in grief recovery to offer our patients and their carers, Krista being an exceptional counsellor was going to mentor me to the next level. Now I have to go it alone, but I am determined to do so for her sake and for the charity. I will miss her support and smile so much already! Taken too soon!!”

Linda Breevaart, Presidenta ULEM

“CSG, ALMOHADA de CORAZON and ULEM, supported and collaborated in events. We will miss Krista so much as she was always there and I remember our beginnings, the 3 (CSG, ALMOHADA de CORAZON and ULEM) were founded more or less in the same year and from day 1 we found each other, there was this “click” and we were always there for each other, for doubts and support.”

Rebecca Upton

“I met Krista at a time when I was starting on a new path in my life, from the very beginning I knew she was a special person, it is not often in this world that you meet someone who is so truly dedicated to helping others with no thought of gaining anything in return. Over my years working with Krista I was in a unique position to see exactly how much Krista actually did, to the point where the rest of us would often tell her she needed to take a step back as she was tiring herself out.

“But despite us trying to limit her working hours and help with the load Krista was never able to not help, if someone called her she would answer and want to help, whatever time of day or night it was. And even when she was taken into hospital, instead of thinking about herself, she was contacting those she’d helped over the years, offering them comfort.

“My thoughts go out to her family at this time. I hope in some way it is a comfort for them to see how well loved Krista was, that she made the most of her life and gave to others. “Ecclesiastes 7:1 and 2 says A good name is better than good oil, and the day of death is better than the day of birth. Better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, for that is the end of every man, and the living should take it to heart.” Krista certainly made a good name for herself, not as someone famous or rich, but as someone who cared for others and was willing to help them no matter what the personal cost was to herself, that is something that I certainly want to take to heart when thinking about how I live my life.”

Ella Baes

“Krista held my hands during my first journey with breast cancer in 2014-16 and I will always cherish all the times we shared together. She spent a lot of time with me...with counselling sessions, taking me to day retreats and so much more. It’s because of her that I was complete with all the resources I needed and she empowered me to be strong and confident throughout my entire journey. I am really blessed to have had her in my life and I am so grateful for everything she did for me.

I will forever hold onto the memories that we shared. She was such a strong spirit, a truly unique and spunky personality, with a great sense of humour, a beautiful soul, and probably the most selfless human being I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Every time I see the stars shining bright or feel the power of the sun giving me energy, I will think of Krista because that is what she was to light, my strength, my angel. Rest in peace my mentor, my beautiful friend …”

Jackie Codd Moore, B.E.M. President, Age Concern Mallorca

“There is not one word that can describe Krista. She was full of vitality, strength, knowledge, sensitivity, such a warm person there are not enough adjectives in my vocabulary to describe her. We have known each other for years and gelled from day one. We had so much in common, both being from London. When we reminisced about our younger years our paths crossed in so many places, our travels: it was incredible, we loved talking about what we did or should not have done in our youth. We had so much in common, both of us striving to help others and our conversations always ended up talking shop.

The Cancer Support Group was her passion, she founded it and got it up and running to what it is today, a very formidable not-for-profit organisation helping Cancer patients in the Baleares and doing a magnificent job. Age Concern and Cancer Support often worked in conjunction on cases we cared for together. She has worked tirelessly without any government support to meet their aims. I, as her friend, colleague and fellow volunteer will miss her tremendously. My heart goes out to her family. May she rest in peace wherever that may be.”