£12k raised in memory of inspirational Innerleithen florist

A fundraising appeal to support the two children of an inspirational Borders woman following her tragic death at the age of just 29 has smashed its target.

Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 1:06 pm
Emma McDonald of Peebles, who died suddenly earlier this month.
Emma McDonald of Peebles, who died suddenly earlier this month.

There was an outpouring of love for florist Emma McDonald, the owner of Stems in Innerleithen, after she collapsed and died from a cardiac arrest while hiking on Monday, August 17.

She has left behind two young children, Shyla, nine, and Cody, five, and her husband Chris.

Her shock death led to hundreds of tribute messages on social media.

Emma was a keen mountain bike rider and as a response to her death, TotalMTB, a community of riders, launched a Crowdfunding appeal to support the children she left behind.

The initial aim was to raise £5,000 but the response has been phenomenal with more than 500 people donating more than £12,300 so far.

Appeal coordinator Craig James Marsden said: “What an amazing response. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every one of you that have donated to this.

“It just leaves me wondering if can we hit £20,000. Emma travelled through life like she rode MTB: fearless, buzzing, always looking for the most rewarding line. Always about the fun factor and never the consequence.

“On the 17th of August she left us without warning at the tender age of 29, tragically she cardiac arrested whilst hillwalking. She leaves behind two beautiful mini shredders aged nine and five and a lot of broken hearts.

“I’m aiming to raise funds so that the MTB community can give her children the adventures she’d planned, but will never come to see.”

Emma had only just re-launched the business she loved following the lifting of lockdown restrictions when she died and was relishing getting back to arranging wedding flowers.

In her final social media post she not only said how happy she was to be back, but ended her post “If Covid has taught me anything it’s to appreciate the simple things in life and enjoy the things we have around us.”

Despite leaving school at 15 with no qualifications, the talented florist went on to win awards for her business.