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A charity ball will be held this spring in memory of a devoted mum and teacher. Caroline Thomson (pictured), of Portlethen, died last year, after courageously battling cancer for 18 months. She was just 38.
So far her loved ones have already raised nearly £25,000 for CLAN Cancer Support and Brain Tumour Action, and are now determined to add more to the tally with a party that coincides with her 40th birthday weekend.
The Ruby Ball will be held at Pittodrie in Aberdeen on March 3.
Guests will be treated to a drinks reception on arrival, a three-course meal and a disco. There will also be an auction – with prizes ranging from tickets to see comedian John Bishop at the O2 in London to a Manchester United shirt signed by star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Local businesses have also kindly donated prizes for the raffle, with treats from the Nicole Porter Gallery and Blueberry Moon in Aberdeen; the Beauty Boutique in Portlethen; and Trump International Golf Links Scotland at Balmedie among those up for grabs.
Caroline’s sister Shona Gossip, from Ellon, who is organising the ball, is urging people to snap up a ticket.
The 30-year-old said:
“Although this is a chance for my family to toast Caroline’s birthday, this is a party for everyone – not just those who knew her. It’s all about raising as much as we can for CLAN and Brain Tumour Action.
“Caroline was devoted to her family – husband David, and sons Callum and Robbie – and her role as head teacher at Cornhill Primary in Aberdeen, but loved to be with her friends too and having fun.
“We’ve all got some great memories of her hen night – when she and her friends dressed as the Village People – and her 30th birthday, which was 80s-themed. I hope we can make some more memories while remembering her in March, while raising money for two great causes.
“The idea for the Ruby Ball just came to me one day on the drive to work as I passed the turn-off for her school and the hospital. Caroline had a love for all things red, and had pretty distinctive red streaks through her hair for years. Combined with it being her 40th this year, it all just fell into place.
“Caroline was really philosophical throughout her illness, and just used to say ‘it is what it is’ but she used to worry about being forgotten. Through the Ruby Ball, and the amazing fundraising efforts of others, we won’t let that happen.”
Mrs Thomson was first diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2014, and underwent gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy.
Sadly the cancer returned in summer 2015, with a scan showing a mass on her brain. Despite surgery and more radiotherapy, doctors broke the news the tumour was inoperable.
Mrs Thomson threw everything into making it to Christmas, and spending as much time as she could with her boys. She was also determined to ensure they were looked after even after her death, and was adamant that CLAN should be involved in offering support.
Dr Colette Backwell, chief executive of CLAN, said:
“Caroline’s family are truly an inspiration and we would like to give our heartfelt thanks for all the money and awareness they have raised so far. To turn such difficult circumstances into such a positive and raising money to help us support other families throughout the north-east, is absolutely incredible.
“The Ruby Ball is sure to be a great success and will be a lovely opportunity for Caroline’s family and friends to celebrate her life with other guests.”
Tickets for the ball are on sale now, priced £49. To find out more, or to buy – or to donate a raffle prize – visit www.facebook.com/rubyballaberdeen, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07515 349890.
CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.
Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.
For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org
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