Hawick family keeping memory of tragic teenager alive by helping others
The legacy of a Hawick teenager killed by cancer over seven years ago is helping other families facing the same heartache as his find some peace of mind.
Anthony Mundell, of Stirches, lost his fight to survive renal cell kidney cancer back in February 2009 at the age of just 13.
The youngster would have celebrated his 21st birthday last month.
His parents Ros and Keith and Anthony’s younger siblings, Chandler, 19, and Zack, 15, marked the occasion with a quiet family meal in Edinburgh.
They have helped keep Anthony’s memory alive in the years since his passing through the Anthony Mundell Memorial Fund.
A variety of fundraising activities helped pay for a caravan near Dumfries offering respite and relaxation to families of children suffering terminal or life-limiting illnesses.
It was Anthony himself who got the fundraising efforts rolling back in June 2008, when, despite his illness, he walked across the Forth Road Bridge to raise money for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.
Mum Ros, 42, said being able to help other families was a comfort to them.
She added: “The charity has given us a sense of purpose to carry on since Anthony’s passing.
“We get a tremendous sense of satisfaction in helping other families who are in a similar situation to ours.
“The families themselves tell us that it is an escape, somewhere they can go and forget what is happening at home, to forget their worries for a little while.”
The family are also inviting the people of Hawick to a fundraising Halloween party on Saturday, October 29, to mark in a fun way what would have been Anthony’s coming of age.
It is being staged in Hawick Catholic Church’s hall, and there will be games and music from 7.30pm.
Ros said: “It’s another chance to remember Anthony and help raise funds for the maintenance of the caravan.
“It costs £3,000 a year to maintain, what with the electricity and the gas. We ask the families for a nominal £10 to stay, but they can also give a donation, which most do.
“We have about 10 families staying there every year and we know how important it is to those families.
“When Anthony was going through his treatment, we were given the opportunity to go on holiday. It was a chance of some family time together, and that’s so important.
“Anthony was such a funny young man, who was on the brink of knowing what he wanted to do with his life.
“When he was at the hospital having his blood taken, he would call the nurses the vampire ladies.
“He loved Doctor Who when he was played by the Scottish actor David Tennant. He just loved life.
“He wanted to spend time with his friends, go to parties and have a girlfriend.
“He never got the chance of all of that, but we carry on this fundraising in his memory. It’s keeping his legacy alive.”
Anthony’s Place, as the respite caravan is known, is located at Southerness on a Parkdean holiday camp. It has three bedrooms, with a pull-out bed in the living room, allowing up to eight people to stay at a time.
A raffle in support of the fund is to be held as part of an equestrian evening to be staged tonight, October 25, at the Habro Country Store in Commercial Road in Hawick.
Doors open at 6pm, and a series of speakers will be in attendance, including Vicki Glasgow discussing horse and pony nutrition.
For more details, call 01450 370050 or go to www.onlineborders.org.uk/ community/ammf/anthonys-story