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DIANE CANNON avatar
DIANE CANNON

Team Claire's 2014/2015 Fundraising Page

Various events throughout the year for Melanoma UK Incorporating Factor 50 because a Melanoma Nurse in memory of Claire depends on it

151 %
£15,166
raised of £10,000 target
by 206 supporters
Donate

Melanoma UK Incorporating Factor 50

We provide support to melanoma patients to help deal with the disease/fund research

Charity Registration No. 1157635

Story

According to Coco Chanel “A girl should be two things….Classy & Fabulous” which was the epitome of my beautiful niece, Claire Culbert.

Claire was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2002, we all knew that life would never be the same again but like most people, we believed that with treatment Claire would get better and everything would be okay. Sadly, this wasn’t the case and after a brave battle with the illness, Claire passed away in December 2013. 

The whole family is still devastated by Claire’s death, she leaves behind two children, Lauren & Elliott and she was only 38 when she died. She was an amazing person and although she was seriously ill, she still spent time helping others with this brutal disease. Claire never complained and just got on with it.

She was simply our Warrior Princess.

Claire was loved by her friends and family and was someone who was always a pleasure to be around, not only was she a loving daughter to Laura & Ralph, sister to Mark, aunty to Emily, niece, cousin, wife & mother she was a kind friend. 

Most people don’t realise that melanoma is a killer and it is this fact, coupled with the desire to continue Claire’s legacy and make sure that some good comes out of her death, which has fueled our passion to help the charity, Melanoma UK.

Claire’s vice 10 years ago was sunbeds and after she burnt badly one year a mole appeared on her lower back which was eventually cut out and although she stayed off sunbeds and out of the sun, the cancer came back 2 years ago when she found a lump under her arm. This was a massive blow to Claire and her family as we thought she had been given the all clear…sadly this was not the case and following a number of scans we found a number of tumors on her lungs and throughout her body. 

Tumour under Claire’s right arm

Claire was originally under the wonderful care of the Lilac Centre at Whiston Hospital however following various treatments they were unable to help so she was transferred to The Christie Hospital to go through a number of tests and we all hoped she was going to be accepted for a trial drug which she desperately needed and give her that bit of hope.

Unfortunately the cancer spread to her brain and the trial was taken away from her……….this news devastated Claire but she decided to throw everything she had at beating the cancer and agreed on a 3rd course of chemotherapy however this time she would lose her beautiful hair.  Claire looked amazing, even the doctors couldn’t believe how well she looked, however the cancer was too much and following a few days of suffering very bad headaches she was finally rushed into hospital as the metastasis had caused fluid to build up on the brain and she was given 24hours to live if they didn’t do an emergency craniotomy and place a drain in her head.  At this point our world came tumbling down as the doctors had to tell us how seriously ill Claire actually was.  It was a devastating blow to us all.  Claire made a decision and did not want to know her prognosis, I remember the day we sat through one of her chemotherapy sessions and she said “Aunty Di, I don’t want to know my prognosis because if they give me bad news I will lose a grip on my positive attitude and the cancer will take control…….and I am going to kick the cr@p out of this thing.”  At that moment, if it was possible, I loved her more than ever. Her positivity just blew me away.

It may sound crazy but I had some wonderful times together with Claire, before and during her illness, I was able to spend a lot of quality time with her whilst she underwent chemotherapy – I was her Chemo Buddy and a very proud aunty.  We made the most of an unbearable time and I made sure we laughed as much as possible.

Claire was a stay at home mum, not really one for education when she was younger however she realised that she had missed out so decided to start studying again so in 2004 she took an access course at Halton College, 2005 she studied for 4yrs at Edge Hill University & finally in 2009 she graduated with a 1st Degree. Her graduation was the proudest day of not only her life but also her mum & dads…..the smile on this picture says it all.   

Claire was quiet compared to the rest of the family but she was very vocal when it came to her research of the treatments & trials targeted at her illness. Always surprised the doctors with her knowledge, always looking for new & improved drugs & ultimately wanted to educate as many young people on the affects of sun damage & nutrition – she never managed to achieve that however with the help of Melanoma UK ‘Team Claire’ will pick up this challenge for her and make her proud.

Team Claire have achieved so much throughout 2014 including the biggest challenge of a 1043 mile bike ride from Liverpool to Krakow, a zip wire across Liverpool, family fun days, afternoon tea parties....the list is endless.  Our aim is not only to raise much-needed cash for the charity but also to increase awareness of skin cancer. We chose Krakow for the 2014 event as Claire's dissertation for her degree was called the Hidden Children of the Holocaust and it was always her ambition to visit Auschwitz to see the concentration camp for herself. She never got to do it so it seemed fitting to do it in her memory.

I had no idea when I started out volunteering for the charity how much work would be involved, however, it is worth every minute especially if Team Claire can achieve our and more importantly, my niece’s goal of raising awareness of this brutal disease which so cruelly took life at such a young age its definitely been worth it.

2015 holds many more memorable events which include the highlight of the year with 30 people skydiving in memory of Claire in the hope of raising enough money for another Melanoma Nurse.....we truly believe we can do this and would love you to be involved so if you have any ideas to help us please get in touch.  Every little helps

Thanks for visiting our page x

Photos

10
  • Claire during her last bout of chemo in November 2013
  • Team Claire with Everton Legend Graeme Sharp
  • My creation in memory of my beautiful niece +8

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