Mum sets up bereavement charity after two-year-old daughter Ripley dies

RUGBY players are set to raise cash for a grieving mum’s charity set up to help parents through bereavement.

By Millie Salkeld
Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 11:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 11:13 am

Mum Fiona Corless’ two-year-old daughter Ripley died after going through treatment for leukaemia in 2017.

Fiona has used her experience as an occupational therapist in mental health services to set up Ripples of Compassion in memory of her daughter.

Now a charity rugby match is being held this Saturday at Fareham Heathens Rugby Club from 2pm to raise money for the charity.

Fiona, 30, from Fareham, said: ‘There aren’t any words to describe what it is like to deal with a diagnosis of cancer for your child.  Your whole sense of what is important in life changes.’

After several months of treatments, including a stem cell transplant and chemotherapy at Bristol Children’s Hospital, where the family moved just after Ripley was born, the toddler was admitted to a hospice for palliative care. 

Fiona said: ‘The hospital has amazing services for parents but the support they can give after a child dies is time limited.

‘Nearly everyone will tell you there is no time limit on grief, so it doesn’t make sense to put a time limit on the support you might need to help you through your grieving, particularly one as significant as the death of a child.

‘If you had the knowledge and skills to do something about it and to help someone feel less alone at one of the worst times in their life why wouldn’t you?’

At the match on Saturday there will also be the chance to sign up to the bone marrow register.

Fiona added: ‘We have chosen to run a charity rugby game as Ripley spent a few months watching the rugby both supporting England and her ‘Fun Uncle Jonny’ when he played for Fareham Heathens.

‘I hope people will join the register as it could give a child another chance at life and stop more parents having to go through the agony of a child dying.’