A Southampton woman is launching a fundraising drive in memory of her mum, who died on her wedding day earlier this year.
Max Channon married the love of her life Rich on Sunday, May 6 – but it was also the day her mother and best friend Patsy lost her battle with the debilitating immune system disease lupus.
Now the 32-year-old is preparing to sweat it out in a fundraising “bootcamperthon” to raise awareness of the disease as well as vital funds for the charity in her mother’s memory.
Max said her mum – known as Lady Lazarus to her friends because of her determination to always recover – had a complicated medical history and suffered from the most extreme form of lupus.
But it was just days before Max married Rich in a ceremony in North Wales that her mother’s condition suddenly deteriorated.
The 64-year-old was taken to hospital in Wales on the Tuesday before the wedding and on the Thursday the family got the heartbreaking news they dreaded – that there was nothing doctors could do.
Max, a property manager in Southampton, said: “We all said our goodbyes on the Friday evening and she said she wanted to hang on until Sunday to know that me and Rich got married. She stayed true to her word because she waited.
“Dad went to see her at 9pm on the evening of the wedding and he told her about it. She passed away 45 minutes later surrounded by her best friends."
Max, who met Rich, an aviation engineer four years ago, said: “It was a day which can be described by many adjectives as not only was this the day that my worst fears came true, but it was also the day I had been longing for, as I got to marry the man I love with all my heart.
“Mum and I were exceptionally close, the very best of friends. It has been an extremely tough start to married life to say the least but, at the risk of sounding corny, we gave Mum her dying wish. We got married.
“Now we are expending a lot of time and energy doing something we really should have probably done whilst Mum was still with us, but to coin a phrase, ‘It’s never too late’.
“I wanted to raise money for lupus simply to raise its awareness for the fact that so few people know about it even those with it. It has frightened me how little I knew about a disease that caused my mother and someone we all cared so greatly about, such suffering for so many years.”
Max has teamed up with her friend and personal trainer Gen Levrant from Catalyst personal training to host the fundraiser at her studio at the Ageas Bowl because October is Lupus Awareness Month.
The fundraiser which will raise money for Lupus UK takes place tomorrow from 10am until midday. Entry is £5. Ring Gen on 07971 043108 or go to catalystpt.co.uk.
To support Max log on to justgiving.com/MaxandRich-Channon.