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Local families raise thousands for end-of-life charity, in memory of daughters

Cheque Presentation with Marie Curie Staff, Eira St John, Second from Left and Kim Waters, third from left.

Since the sudden and tragic death of their daughter, Rachel, at the age of just 18, Paul and Kim Waters have tirelessly raised money for local charities, in her memory.

These have ranged from night walks to sponsored kayaks, with Paul, Kim and their son Tom throwing themselves into their fundraising, and subsequently setting up the Rachel Waters Remembrance Fund.

In October of this year, along with their close friend, Eira St John, they chose to raise money for end-of-life charity, Marie Curie, following the sudden death of Eira’s daughter, Kimberley, aged 32 years old.

Kimberley was a palliative care specialist nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, originally from Loughor, Swansea.  Kimberley was a trailblazer in the field of palliative care, opening up positive conversations about death and supporting patients with their wishes at end of life. Kimberley died tragically from a stroke, in July 2020, and having held such passion towards end-of-life care, the two families chose to fundraise for Marie Curie, in memory of both Rachel and Kimberley.

The families rallied support from the local community, to hold a night of fundraising at Loughor Workingmen’s Club, which raised a staggering £7,000, through ticket sales, raffles and donations from supporters and local banks. The event gathered so much support that tickets sold out and many were therefore unable to attend.

The money raised will help Marie Curie provide expert care, guidance and support to help people with a terminal illness, and their families, get the most from the time they have left.  Their fundraising alone will provide over 350 hours of nursing care, provided in the comfort and familiar surroundings of patient’s own homes.

Marie Curie also supports people throughout their illness by giving practical information and support from trained Helper volunteers and being there when someone wants to talk. The charity is also the leader in research into better ways of caring for people with terminal illness, which Kimberley was so passionately an advocate for, and also campaigns for policy changes to allow a better end of life care for all.

It also provides bereavement support both via its Information and Support line, and it’s Wales Bereavement Information and Support Service (BISS), a partnership with Diverse Cymru, which aims to connect with underrepresented or hard-to-reach communities who might be struggling with grief.

Ali Discombe, Community Fundraiser for Marie Curie said: “We are extremely grateful and humbled by the support both families have offered Marie Curie, whilst honouring the memory of Rachel and Kimberley.  The money raised will help Marie Curie care and support people through terminal illness in local communities, as well as supporting many individuals through bereavement, following the death of their loved one.”