The Hope Campaign for The Royal Marsden - A tribute to Emma Beardall (nee Fisher)
One of my best friends Em very sadly passed away last September. This month her cousin Becky, aka Bricks & Stitches has started the Coast to Coast walk with her husband Jamie to raise funds for The Royal Marsden where Em received pioneering treatment. You can donate to this epic mission and their story here. I'd love to tell you more about Em, if you can spare the time.
If you had met her, you would never have known that cancer was a part of her life as she looked fit and healthy and she would always approach everything with a 'glass is half full' approach. For six years she went to regular hospital appointments before Cancer took her away from us at just 36 years old.
If you knew Em, (or Eemmmmaaaa as I would often call her) you would know she was always the life and soul of the party, the ﬁrst one (and last one) on the dance ﬂoor, and the ﬁrst one to book that next trip…while she was still ON the last trip. Her lust for life was infectious, she was an absolute beauty inside and out, always laughing, smiling and you would have loved her.
Before she died she was writing a book about her experience living with cancer because she wanted to change the conversation. She wrote:
“I truly believe positivity attracts positivity and negativity breeds negativity. Obviously science dictates that it is physically impossible for your body to ﬁght a disease like cancer without any intervention, but equally I think if you train your mind you can help yourself ﬁght it through a positive mental attitude. This goes hand in hand with HOPE and the stance that for as long as there is hope there is something to hang on to and keep you going. Once that hope is taken away it is very diﬃcult to have the same positive outlook. As long as I have the reassurance that there are further treatment options available, it instils that element of hope that keeps me going”.
Emma Beardall, 02.02.82 - 30.09.18
I’d do anything to turn back time, to go back to the time in Ibiza with the girls where we were all playing with inﬂatables in the pool buoyed on by bottles of Magners. She loved being on holiday, embracing every minute of her out-of-office time and would get such holiday blues on the last day.
I often think of her laughing at her hen do, where she wanted to embrace every tacky theme from tiaras to sashes to butlers in the buﬀ and we dance the whole weekend. Every time I drink Prosecco or listen to Fifth Harmony’s Work from Home or wear the pink coat she sent me a picture of from Zara and told me to buy, I just can’t believe she’s not here.
I’d love to rewind to the night on my balcony where we had dinner she told me her future wedding plans to Nick and we how many bridesmaids she wanted. She said she'd been in hospital reading a bridal magazine with an article called; ‘How many bridesmaids you should have for your wedding?’ The article made the case for zero to twenty bridesmaids and so it gave her the confidence to go with nine bridesmaids. I am so glad she did exactly what she wanted and had the wedding of her dreams.
Last year I went to watch the marathon with Emma and our friend Stacey. We didn’t watch much of the marathon and instead we had a Prosecco loaded picnic next to Tower Bridge in the sunshine. I can’t tell you how much we laughed. This year, she’s not here.
If anyone else is going through something similar, I always wondered if Em wanted me to ask how she was, or would she be happier if I didn't bring it up. She told me that it was the most important thing to ask, to be interested and it didn't matter about saying the right thing.
One of our last text conversations before we found out the terrible news was about the future where we were both happily making plans. I told her I wanted to change my business and she said: “Your plans sound really exciting. You’ve gotta aim high Claire! I have every faith in you!”
Since we lost Em, we have all tried to live by her example - taking chances, enjoying life and having fun. So have faith in yourself. Take time for grief. Talk about things. Keep the faith. Hope.
To buy the Hope T Shirt from Emma’s lovely cousin Bricks & Stitches with 100% of proﬁts going to Royal Marsden go here: https://bricksandstitches.com/product/hope-tee-100-of-proﬁtsdonated-to-the-royal-marsden/