WHEN an Edinburgh mum was diagnosed with incurable cancer, she decided to do something to give back to a charity that supported her throughout her ordeal.
Lisa Stephenson, 48, was diagnosed with myeloma – a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow – in 2011.
Since then the mum-of-two has set herself a target to raise £1 million for Maggie’s Cancer Care and last week came a step closer by organising a ladies lunch and fashion show at the stunning Dundas Castle in West Lothian.
Co-organised with Sarah Murray, owner of the Jane Davidson boutique in Edinburgh, the event – which raised around £100,000 – was hosted by Lady Stewart Clark, who gifted the use of the castle to Maggie’s for free.
Award winning British fashion designer Osman – who sells his work at exclusive shops including Selfridges in London and Harvey Nichols – also attended, previewing pieces from his autumn-winter collection.
The money will go towards a much-needed extension at the centre – which received over 20,000 visits last year alone from people in Edinburgh living with cancer – as well as their family and friends.
“Our idea was always to host an event with a difference and I feel we accomplished exactly that while also raising £50,000 towards the planned extension for Maggie’s Edinburgh,” Lisa explained.
“Maggie’s Edinburgh – the first ever Maggie’s Centre – is in desperate need to expand in order to meet the demand for their support.
“The physical space in the centre can no longer cope with the demand and to this end, there is a planned extension for the centre, at a cost of £1m.
“Since I was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, Maggie’s has been a constant source of support and is a cause very close to my heart. Through the amazing support of friends, family and colleagues, we have to date raised an incredible £660,000.”
Conceived by the late Maggie Keswick Jencks and her husband Charles, Maggie’s Edinburgh opened in 1996 at the Western General Hospital.
The centre offers free practical, emotional and social support to people whose lives have been affected by cancer.
Today there are 17 facilities at NHS hospitals across the country, each based on the Edinburgh template.
Lisa said: “It is now my ambition to support Maggie’s to be able to be there for even more people.
“Dundas Castle was the perfect venue and Lady Stewart Clark the ideal host.
“To see so many amazing people gathered together to hear Maggie’s Edinburgh Centre head Andrew Anderson talk about the need for the extension was simply inspiring while Osman’s fashion show added that extra touch of glitz and glamour to make the day even more special.”
Vicki Corbett, of Maggie’s, said: “Maggie’s relies on voluntary donations to be able to provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer, as well as their family and friends, to the people of Edinburgh, the rest of Scotland and across the UK.”