Remembering Mum – why I collect for the Great Daffodil Appeal

by Fiona Brown
Marie Curie fundraisier

Fiona Brown is from Cambuslang near Glasgow and has been fundraising for Marie Curie for over ten years. Fiona began supporting the charity after Marie Curie Nurses cared for her mother, Chrissie, during the final stages of pancreatic cancer.

Fiona Brown, Marie Curie fundraiserMum was a rock of support for all our family. She was an intensive care nursing sister at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and loved nursing. She was also a great mum, giving a lot of support to the family.

Mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2002 and by February 2003 we were told the cancer had spread to her liver. I think we had Marie Curie for about a week before she died. Having that comfort in the evenings from the Marie Curie Nurses, who sat with Mum while we got some rest, made a huge difference. It was good knowing somebody was there with her.

The key thing for me was the fact that she was able to be at home. We had moved her bedroom so she was in the back of the house. It was really nice for her to have the curtains open while she was in bed, looking out at the garden she had spent many, many years working on to get it just the way she wanted.

Helping out is so important

The year after Mum passed away, in 2004, I decided to run a 10k to raise money for Marie Curie, with a few of my friends. The following year, I got in touch with the Glasgow Fundraising Office and asked what else I could do to help. I was asked if I would go along to some of the Great Daffodil Appeal collections.

I really enjoyed taking part. People were so generous and friendly. It was quite nostalgic for me, because I’d lost my Mum in March. It helped me to put that effort into raising awareness of what Marie Curie does and share that with other people.

I remember collecting in a supermarket on Mother’s day one year. It still felt a bit raw, seeing families buying flowers for their mothers. I remember feeling really sad, but at the same time feeling happy that I was able to do something. When you feel the weight of the collecting tin, and you know you've done a good job, it’s all worth it.

In the last five or six years I've coordinated local collections and last year I got together with some other fundraisers to form the Cambuslang and Rutherglen Fundraising Group. We've done a couple of things, including an event at an outdoor go-kart track which my family run. The Great Daffodil Appeal is a massive campaign and so it’s important to support it.

Donate to this year's Great Daffodil Appeal or find a collection place local to you.