Mum's care in Belfast hospice inspires a generous legacy

Fiona Riordan wanted to do something to help Marie Curie after her mother, Mary, was cared for in our Belfast hospice. The chance for Fiona to make a difference eventually came from an unexpected source.

Fiona's mum and two of her aunts relied on the care and support of staff at the Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast

“My connection with Marie Curie began many years ago when two of my aunts were nursed by the charity. Marie Curie became a part of my life again more directly three years ago, when my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was nursed in the Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast.

During this time, I was able to see first-hand the fantastic work that’s carried out within the hospice. This wasn’t just the care given by the doctors and nurses, but the support offered by the reception staff and the volunteers who were always on hand to offer a kind word or a cup of tea.

Dealing with mum's death

A few months after the passing of my mum, I became more involved with the charity when I was asked to join the South Belfast Fundraising Group. Surprisingly, this turned out to be just what I needed to deal with my mum’s death.

Being able to give something back to this wonderful charity is immensely cathartic. Through my work, I was introduced to Eimear McCooey, who is a legacy advisor for Marie Curie. Through Eimear, I was offered a free will through Marie Curie’s partnership with the Free Wills Network. Initially, I thought that I must surely be too young to make a will, but then I realised this is not the case, and at the grand age of 40, I decided to make one.

"Everybody should do this"

I received my pack, which gave a list of solicitors to choose from, and then I went to see my chosen solicitor and discussed in detail what I wanted. It was so simple and stress free, and in getting everything sorted, I was able to leave a gift in my will for Marie Curie.

This gift can be as big or small as you wish and doesn't even have to be monetary. You can choose to leave clothes or belongings to go to one of the many Marie Curie shops, which will in turn raise money for the charity.

Many people feel that it's depressing and morbid to make a will at a relatively young age, however I feel it's necessary and realistic. When the process is made so easy with the Free Wills Network, I think it's important that everybody should do this, regardless of your age.”

A gift left in your Will can help make sure Marie Curie can be there for even more people living with a terminal illness. Find out more about our free will-writing scheme.