When Rachael’s mother passed away, she looked for a way to deal with her loss. Here she talks about the power of fundraising, and why setting up a tribute fund has helped keep her mother’s memory alive...
Fundraising for Target Ovarian Cancer was important to mum and I wanted to carry that on. I heard her talking so passionately at a supporter’s reception that I wanted to be part of it. It’s a way to feel close to her.
My mum, Letitia, was a wonderful person. She lived life to the full and saw the good in everything and everyone. She was so kind and friendly; she just made the world a better place.
After her initial diagnosis, she looked at all the options. She had chemo and then surgery and then more chemo. She completely overhauled her lifestyle - opting for a raw food diet and embracing the power of positive thinking. It was also around this time that she began campaigning strongly for Target Ovarian Cancer. The charity was a great support to her, giving her access to information and a community of people who understood her situation. She decided she wanted to get involved with raising awareness and fundraising. She did an amazing afternoon tea event and had some great competitions (a lucky dip using pegs on knickers was my favourite). But she didn’t stop there, she also campaigned alongside Target Ovarian Cancer and even got her local MP involved.
Mum made a huge number of new friends through her experiences. She went into remission, but even when the cancer returned, she didn’t let her diagnosis hold her back. She was positive right until the end. She died in a hospice on 27 Nov 2012 surrounded by all her family.
After she died, I really wanted somewhere that everyone who cared about mum could share their messages and see the fundraising efforts of her friends and family. That’s when I heard about Target Ovarian Cancer’s tribute funds. Setting up the fund was so simple and the staff were helpful and friendly. It’s great how you can also post pictures. I set a big target because mum was ambitious and positive and so am I! I wanted the tribute page to be an ongoing thing, not just for the initial reactions to her passing.
So far, having the tribute fund has been amazing. I get to read all the messages and also see the brilliant fundraising events put on by others to support mum’s memory. I think having the fund allows people (who may not be so close to the family) to have a way to fundraise on her behalf without feeling intrusive. They can do their fundraising completely independently but still pay a lovely tribute to mum. For me personally, I used it the most when I decided to host a charity ball in honour of what would have been my mum’s 50th birthday. I know she would have had a party and I think she would have loved the charity ball. It was a lot of work but it was a fantastic experience. Having the fund meant people that couldn’t attend made donations on there. We raised around £5,000 and it was lovely adding this to the tribute fund. Also, I would note that when I went to companies asking if they would contribute a prize to the charity ball auction, it helped having a tribute fund to direct them to.
I think if mum could see our fundraising efforts she’d be so happy and proud. She was my biggest supporter and still is my biggest inspiration. Keeping in touch with Target Ovarian Cancer has been something that has been really important to me since mum died. I’m so glad I set up the tribute fund.