Colin lost his wife, Gill, to breast cancer in 2007 and started a fund in her name. Since then he’s gone on to raise over £25,000 in her memory with the support of family and friends.
Gill was our rock. We did everything together. She had so many friends and family members that loved her that when she passed away, I knew immediately that I had to do something in her name. Something that made sure her memory lived on, so others wouldn’t suffer as she had.
The fund has been our way of showing to all the people who’ve supported us over the years where their money is going and how much their support means to us and to all those who have lived with breast cancer
She was passionate about rugby. We met at our local club and our daughters spent their early days watching from the side-lines in a pram! When they got older, I set up a women’s rugby team and we spent our weekends watching them play. On match days, Gill would cook food for everyone and it was legendary! She always put family first, so when she passed away we decided – as a family – to fundraise in her name.
Gill was diagnosed in early 2006 with very aggressive, stage four breast cancer. After four rounds of chemotherapy, we decided to stop treatment so that she could be strong enough to enjoy the little time we had left together. My daughter brought her wedding forward from August to April and it was an incredibly special day, all the more so because Gill passed away just a few days before the original wedding date – only 18 months after she was first diagnosed.
Being able to do something positive to help others has been a huge source of strength for our family. When Gill passed away, my four brothers and I walked 98 miles across the West Highland Way, raising £8,000. I've since trekked in Peru, Argentina, Nepal, and parts of Africa, as well as long distance treks in the UK including the 200 mile Coast to Coast walk. I've also run the Dublin and London marathons. Knowing I’m raising money to help other families gives us strength; it’s what helps us carry on.
Gill's fund has been our way of showing to all the people who’ve supported us over the years where their money is going and how much their support means to us and to all those who have lived with breast cancer. It’s been cathartic in a way – it’s helped us come to terms with losing the person who meant everything.
This is for you, Gill.
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