More than 40 family and friends of a young Warrington woman who died just weeks after being diagnosed with leukaemia have climbed Mount Snowdon to raise funds for CLIC Sargent, the charity which supported her.
The group took on the highest mountain in England and Wales on Saturday 8 May, in aid of CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading charity for young cancer patients and families.
Care home assistant Rea Muir from Warrington passed away in December last year, less than three weeks after being told that she had leukaemia.
Rea began to feel ill last July. She had been delighted to watch her beloved Warrington Wolves Rugby League team go through to the final of the Challenge Cup but that evening she complained of a headache and feeling ill.
A few days later an out of hours GP advised Rea to go to Halton Hospital and she was then sent to the accident and emergency unit at Warrington Hospital. The waiting time was five hours but Rea felt too ill to wait to be seen and returned the next day when doctors told her that she had Pneumonia and Sepsis. A bone marrow biopsy was later carried out and showed that she had blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome and would need stem cell treatment.
Her mother Lesley Whyte said: “Although we were worried about Rea we thought it was quite straight forward and there seemed no urgency for her to be treated.”
Rea’s condition was not improving and in late November Rea and her family received worrying news. They were told that Rea had acute myeloid leukaemia and needed to go to the Royal Liverpool Hospital to begin chemotherapy treatment.
Lesley said: “When we were told it was leukaemia I felt sick.
"It completely takes your breath away and you feel like you’re going to throw up and can’t stop shaking.”
The family was supported by a CLIC Sargent Social Worker who arranged financial support and helped Rea and her boyfriend Robert to plan a trip to Devon for what would have been their first holiday together on their own. Sadly the young couple, who had planned to get engaged on Christmas Day, never got the chance.
Rea was admitted to the bone marrow unit in Liverpool on 28 November but urgent chemotherapy treatment had to be delayed because she had a lung infection and high temperature which needed to be brought under control. She was moved to the intensive care unit on 12 December but sadly passed away on 14 December 2016.
“It all happened so quickly. Watching your child suffer is the worst thing but thankfully she didn’t suffer for too long and afterwards she looked so peaceful,” said Lesley.
Rea’s funeral took place after Christmas and her family made sure it reflected her love of Warrington Wolves. Rea was laid to rest in her new Warrington top and had a flag signed by the team on her mother’s car which has the registration LE5 1 REA. Warrington player Ben Westwood also sent a tribute video message to Rea’s family on the day of the funeral. While Rea was having treatment in Warrington Hospital, Wolves winger Kevin Penny visited her.
Rea’s family and friends decided to take on the Mount Snowdon challenge to celebrate her memory and have already raised more than £7,400 for CLIC Sargent.
Lesley said: “Rea was just a naturally happy and positive person who had the widest smile that would light up any room, she was sincerely kind and caring and always had time for everyone.
"CLIC Sargent is such an amazing charity and we’d like more people to know about the work it does."
"I can't tell you how humbled, Rea’s father Tony and I feel. The support and generosity shown by all our wonderful family and friends has just been amazing.”
Jayne Moran, Fundraising Manager at CLIC Sargent, said: “When cancer strikes young lives we fight tirelessly to limit the damage it causes beyond their health.
"We rely entirely on donations to fund our vital work and so we can’t thank Rea’s family and friends enough for their fantastic efforts climbing Mt Snowdon.”
To support the Remembering Rea fund please visit the official JustGiving page.
For more information or images, please contact Caroline Clancy on 020 8752 2855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org