A cosmetics expert is taking on a series of fundraising challenges in memory of her mother who died from cancer.
Aimee Evans, 25, signed up for the Rainbow Dash Bubble Bash organised by the Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham.
She’s aiming add another bucketful of cash to the money she has already raised for the hospice and Cancer Research UK.
Aimee, who works in the cosmetics department at Debenhams store at Eagles Meadows Shopping Centre, has already taken part in two previous Rainbow Dash events for Nightingale House and donned her trainers for four Race for Life events in in honour of her much loved mum, Tanya Evans.
She said: “I lost my mum in September 2013 to cancer. She was diagnosed with bone cancer but it then spread to her lungs, sadly she was a heavy smoker, then her lymph nodes and stomach.
“Any bone cancer diagnosis is usually a terminal one, in particular if it’s in the spine as mum’s was. She was diagnosed in December 2010 and passed away in September 2013 so it was almost three years which is what the doctor’s thought it would be.
“I also lost my dad to cancer when I was just three I don’t actually remember him at all. I was lucky as, after my dad, David, died she eventually had a new partner, Terry Price, who I thought of as my dad. I still do and we remain very close. He is always there for me.
“Mum and Terry were together a long time and although they were engaged they just never thought it seemed important to them to actually tie the knot, as they were perfectly happy anyway.”
Aimee, who has one older brother, says losing her mum was devastating as they were incredibly close.
She said: “We were inseparable even if we did drive each other nuts on occasions. But we also knew, because of her diagnosis, that we only had a limited time to be together so we crammed in everything we possibly could.
“I knew she wouldn’t be there to see me get married or go through those milestones we all eventually go through. I became her full-time carer which was an honour and a privilege.
“Mum died at Nightingale House Hospice in her favourite room which was a blessing. She was 49 and didn’t quite make it to be 50 which had been her target.
“After she passed away I suffered terrible depression and really fell in on myself. In one way I had been lucky as, because I knew it was terminal, I knew what was coming but it was still a terrible, terrible shock.
“Before I became mum’s full-time carer I was studying to become a chemotherapy nurse.
“I was studying at Chester University and was only six months away from graduating. I had to drop out and, when I can afford it. I’m going to go back and start over.”
Aimee says fundraising for Cancer Research UK and Nightingale House Hospice in memory of her mum has helped her come to terms with her loss.
She said: “I just decided the best way to get over my depression was give myself targets and that’s why I decided to raise funds for the two good causes. I did my first Race for Life in 2014 and have now done four.
“And this is going to be my third Nightingale House Hospice paint run – it’s called something different each year. I have raised well over £1,000 so far. I also do bake sales and run other little events to raise what I can.”
She added: “Doing fundraising events helps me to remember mum in a good way and get on with life in a positive manner. I need to have that philosophy.”
Aimee says she thoroughly enjoys her job in the cosmetics department at Debenhams in Eagles Meadow where she works on fragrance.
She said: “I started as a Christmas temp in October 2016 on women’s wear and was kept on and offered a permanent contract. I moved from women’s wear to cosmetics and now have a 20 hour contract but I do full-time hours just about every week.
“Working at Debenhams has really helped me stay sane to be honest. I love the team I work with, not just in cosmetics but throughout the store. I have made so many friends and everyone supports my fundraising.
“I also really enjoy meeting and talking to the customers I serve. Wrexham people are so lovely and I have made so many friends. It’s just a lovely place to work.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley praised Aimee’s charity fundraising.
He said: “It’s wonderful that Aimee has turned the tragedy of her mother’s passing away into something positive through her fundraising activities. To raise more than £1,000 for Cancer Research and Nightingale House Hospice in just a few years is amazing.
“Nightingale House in particular is a charity that is held close to the hearts of many Wrexham people and I think the majority of people from the area know of someone who, like Aimee’s mum, has benefitted from the work they do there.
“I’m always amazed at the sheer volume of fundraising for good causes that is undertaken by Eagles Meadow retail staff. It is simply amazing and shows how much the shopping centre is part of the wider community.”