Emma’s last wish was to raise money so that other people wouldn’t go through the same experience as her. Lin and Lucy, Emma’s mum and sister, tell us more about Emma’s legacy, as well as how they are honouring her wish. 

Lucy and her mum, Lin, sit side-by-side on the sofa smiling.

Cancer never stopped Emma from being herself 

Emma was an extremely caring person. She was funny, she laughed a lot.  

She was 37 when she was first diagnosed, and 38 when she found out she had secondary breast cancer.  

Throughout it all, she was amazing. She carried on as normal. She had treatment on a Friday and was back to work on the Monday. Her condition didn’t stop her doing anything.  

In fact, she was working up until the week before she died. That was just the way Emma dealt with things. 

She unfortunately passed away when she was just 40, which is far too young. 

Emma’s last wish was to help other people 

Despite having such a terrible diagnosis, she still lived her life. Cancer was never going to define her. 

Emma never thought of herself first, she always thought about other people. When she had just days left, she gave us a list of things that she wanted to happen. One of them was to raise money, so that – in her words - ‘Maybe one day, someone won’t have to suffer like I’ve suffered.’ That was the only time she ever spoke of suffering. 

That’s why we initially set up a Fund in Memory. It was her last wish. 

We started it up at the funeral, and people donated money instead of flowers. They’d also leave beautiful messages to go along with their donations, which is always so lovely to see.  

Since then, we’ve added to it whenever we’ve done more fundraising events, and it’s so wonderful to see the fund keep growing.  

If Emma could see some of the things we’ve done to raise money, she’d definitely laugh at us. But she’d also be proud. She’d be happy.  

The Fund in Memory is a place to celebrate Emma 

What’s so lovely about the Fund in Memory is that, every so often, we’ll go onto it and there will have been a donation out of the blue. Sometimes on her birthday, sometimes at Christmas. It allows us to see the messages people have shared with Emma, which we love. 

Every now and then, someone will share a photo of her, too. Usually, you only really get to see the photos you take of someone, so to see pictures from her friends allows us to see her how other people saw her. I think that’s pretty cool! 

Ultimately, it’s a celebration of life – of Emma’s legacy – as well as a space to fundraise. 

Normally, when someone leaves you, all the people that were connected to that person sort of go their own way. They don’t disappear, necessarily, but you lose the connection you once had with them. But with the Fund in Memory, we’ve all had a way to stay in touch. 

Emma, Lin and Lucy all smiling together

She wanted to help others in her position 

We chose to raise funds for Breast Cancer Now because Emma had specified that she wanted it to go towards somewhere that would help people like her, specifically through research. Their goal to ensure that, in the future, nobody will die from breast cancer, really spoke to us. 

In the fundraising that we’ve done, we’ve had close contact with people at Breast Cancer Now, and they’ve always supported us however they can. The charity has allowed us to do what we wanted - to raise money in Emma’s name: quite a lot of money, actually! 

We may have had the initial ideas of how to raise money, but it was the help and support from Breast Cancer Now that allowed us to raise as much as we did. We had no idea what we were doing in the beginning, but the charity really helped us.  

I hope nobody else has to go through this 

Because of how far away she lived from us, she had to give us the news of her diagnoses over the phone. I just hope that, one day, thanks to the money we have raised in Emma’s name, a mum won’t have to receive a call like that from her daughter.  

 

If you have lost a loved one to breast cancer and would like a way to remember them while raising money for vital research, consider setting up a Fund in Memory of your own.

Funds in Memory