A FUNDRAISING campaign in memory of a young Portadown woman and her baby daughter – who died from cancer within five years of each other – is close to reaching its £10,000 target.
Charlene Campbell passed away on October 7, last year – seven months after being diagnosed with a virulent strain of breast cancer.
In an ironic and sad twist of events, the 33-year-old’s death occurred five years after she suffered the agonising pain of losing her beloved baby daughter, Myla, also to cancer.
Having witnessed what her precious baby girl had gone through during her fight against cancer – which ended just 12 days after her 1st birthday – Charlene opted for holistic medicine and a strict organic diet to treat her own illness.
Despite her positive attitude and determination to fight the disease, she agreed to have surgery in August, last year, but unfortunately the cancer had advanced too far throughout her body.
The tragedy devastated Charlene’s family for a second time, and as a coping mechanism, relatives embarked on a fundraising drive in aid of Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens.
To date £8,074 has been raised for the charity, with a Strictly Dancing and Dessert night organised by Portadown photographer Marie Allen and businessman Thomas Vaughan, recently boosting the fund by £1,600.
In a further act of kindness, Edenderry Methodist Memorial Girls’ Brigade – where Charlene had been a former member and explorer – donated £500 from their prize giving fund to Charlie’s Angel Fund.
Throughout the month of May, Boots in Markethill, have also been fundraising in store, and with over £500 raised so far, the chemist chain has also pledged to provide a further £500 to the cause.
On Bank Holiday Monday (May 30), family and friends will also be taking part in a sponsored walk around Gosford Forest Park in memory of Charlene and Myla.
The event has been organised by Charlene’s cousin Mandy Ritchie, from Markethill, who has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity from the public, since the young sales negotiator’s death.
“We knew Charlene was popular and everybody knew her, so we thought people would support us, but we never imagined to the extent we have witnessed,” explained Mandy.
“We never thought for one moment it would have reached this amount in seven months.”
Mandy explained while the past seven months have been difficult for the family, the fundraising drive has provided them with something to focus on.
“Nothing is ever going to change. It’s like she is on an extended holiday, but some times you get those dark moments of reality and wonder how can this be true.
“Hopefully we can make a difference – even if it’s for one child – it is one child who doesn’t have to go through what Charlene went through with Myla.
“I know she would be so proud. We are doing it in her memory, but every day there is some child being diagnosed with cancer. The treatment is just so severe and we need something that will be kinder to kids.
“We just want to keep doing something that will help others in the long term,” added Mandy.
On Saturday, June 4, Hannath Estate Agents – where Charlene had been a valued member of staff – is also hosting a charity fun day at Portadown Rugby Club in aid of Charlie’s Angel Fund.