Friends and colleagues of a late clinical scientist have marked what would have been her 40th birthday by paying for a day of care at the hospice that cared for her in her final weeks.
Frankie Edwards died following a diagnosis of metastatic melanoma in September 2017 at the Marie Curie Cardiff and the Vale Hospice in Penarth.
Following her death, colleagues at the Welsh Blood Service’s Welsh Transplantation and Immunogenetics Laboratory (WTAIL) began fundraising for the charity in December 2017, and were spurred on to meet the Pay for a Day target by community fundraiser Hannah Leckie.
The Pay for a Day scheme allows a nominated date to be dedicated to the memory of a loved one.
‘Frankie’s Elves’ aimed to raise a total of £6,660 for Pay for a Day of care at the hospice – which provides round-the-clock expert care and support to people living with a terminal illness, and their families. They have surpassed this, raising more than £9,300.
Speaking about their late friend and colleague, Alison Cleaton described Frankie as dedicated, conscientious, kind, caring and a wonderful friend, adding:
“Each time she stayed at the hospice, in addition to the fantastic medical care she received, it was the emotional support and the feeling of security that she and her family had that gave her the most comfort.”
The team chose October 15 as their Pay for a Day date – to mark what would have been Frankie’s 40thbirthday.
“That led to the crazy idea that we would do a ‘Fabulous 40 bike ride’ to help with the further fundraising,” said Alison.
“Most of us are not fit and haven’t been on a bike since our childhood days, so this was a really big challenge for us.”
With weather against them, on September 22 the team took on a wet and soggy Taff Trail – dressed in yellow Marie Curie tshirts and tutus. One member of the team, Kim McShane, also completed a ‘fabulous 40 triathlon’, adding a 40 length (1km) swim and 40 laps (10 miles) of the UWIC running track to the bike ride.
Frankie’s Elves thanked all their colleagues who have supported them.
“The fundraising we have undertaken has really helped us as all, in our way, deal with the huge hole that has been left by losing such an amazing person as Frankie – not just on a professional level but also, and most importantly, on a personal level – we’ve had a lot of fun and have achieved so much,” added Alison.
Sarah Lloyd-Davies, hospice manager and Hannah Leckie, Marie Curie community fundraiser for Cardiff and the Vale, thanked the group for raising the funds.
“The hospice provides care and support for more than 1,200 people, and their family and loved ones, every year,” Sarah.
“None of this would be possible without the generosity of our supporters, and we are extremely grateful of the continuing level of support we receive from across Wales, but particularly here in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.”