The Ann Jackson Fund
Raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity in memory of Ann
Ann (our Mum) was a caring, fun, helpful and determined person, she had a wonderful, happy life; married on her 21st birthday to Richard (Dad) and after having 4 children, 2 girls, 2 boys her life was complete and busy.
Dad worked hard and Mum continued to work part-time, raise her family and continue to be a support to her numerous friends. Her door was always open and the kettle was always on; chatter and laughter was always to be found when Ann was around. Mum helped Dad run the local village football teams for over 20 years, washing the kit, providing half-time drinks and fund-raising to ensure the football club thrived.
As time moved on, Mum & Dad enjoyed their holidays, visiting lots of European countries, even though they continued to work part time well past retirement age. They were looking forward to quality time and perhaps a few more holidays but after returning from their most recent holiday in 2011, Mum seemed more tired than usual, not so full of her usual energy and gusto and at times confused. Reluctantly, Mum agreed to visit her doctor and was referred to a dementia specialist but dementia was subsequently ruled out. In November of that year, a CT scan was taken which was inconclusive and therefore an MRI scan was booked for the New Year. We all enjoyed a wonderful family Christmas, Mum's favourite time of the year, surrounded by her family, including her 3 precious grandchildren.
Mum began to have falls, becoming more confused and finally collapsed and was rushed to hospital where a benign tumour (Craniopharyngioma) was diagnosed, her specialist advising that she had probably been living with the tumour for at least twenty years. With medication, Mum was quite well for a few weeks but she had lost her sight in one eye due to the tumour. Mum then developed fluid on the brain and her remaining sight was deteriorating and though reluctant, Mum agreed to have an operation to save her sight and initially the operation was a success but sadly she suffered from pneumonia during her recovery and passed away a few days later on 20th September 2012 at the age of 74, after 53 years of happy marriage.
Following her death, Dad, who was a keen gardener, wanted to find out more about the disease that Mum had fought against, and following research Dad decided that he needed to channel his grief to try to help others who are fighting the same battle. He started to sell plants from his house to raise some funds for The Brain Tumour Charity. Mum had always loved her garden, she would proudly show people around when they came to visit, pointing out her favourites as if she had done all the work, Dad always laughed at this. This work is a fitting tribute to her memory.
We have supported Dad during this time, both sons growing plants in their gardens to sell and both daughters manning the stalls along with help from his granddaughter. From humble beginnings this has now snowballed into a thriving venture in the village where Mum & Dad lived together for almost 50 years and around the local Wiltshire market town. Loyal supporters come back week to week, month to month, year to year to help increase the funds raised.
Gardening to raise funds has taken over all the spare time that Dad and his family have, dedicating our efforts to Mum's memory and giving Dad a reason to live and to continue to cope with his loss and raise as much money as possible.
Dad will be 80 in 2017 and he will continue to grow seeds and plants for as long as he is able and when he can't he will be supervising, just as Mum did, giving her opinion on what would look nice in her garden. So sadly missed but never forgotten, Mum and her memory live on, in our thoughts always and we shall carry on fundraising in her memory.