Star quality on show as friends and family gather for Rachel

Rachel Appolinari faced her diagnosis with bravery and spirit

Rachel Appolinari faced her diagnosis with bravery and spirit

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X FACTOR star Jade Richards and TV personality Michelle McManus are to take to the stage tomorrow to raise funds in memory of a 19-year-old who died from a brain tumour.

X FACTOR star Jade Richards and TV personality Michelle McManus are to take to the stage tomorrow to raise funds in memory of a 19-year-old who died from a brain tumour.

Rachel Appolinari from South Queensferry died in August just weeks after discovering she had the tumour, but took the diagnosis with bravery and spirit.

After her death, family and friends set up the Rachel Appolinari Memorial Fund to raise money for the Edinburgh Centre for Neuro-oncology at the Western General.

The original target of the fund was £20,000, but it has already hit £18,177 and tomorrow’s event in Clermiston is expected to bring in a further £10,000.

The celebrities will be the highlight of a black-tie evening of dinner, drinks and entertainment. Rachel’s father Steve said it would also be a chance to celebrate Rachel’s life.

He said: “I think what’s quite important to anyone that knew Rachel is that the character that she showed was something else. She finished her days by continuing to show great spirit and an amazing strength of character.

“Since Rachel’s death, there have been 21 separate events organised and every time you go along to one of these events, everyone’s having a great time and that really sums her up.”

Tomorrow’s event was dreamed up by hairdresser Dian Ward from Corstorphine, who said: “Rachel’s boyfriend’s mum was in having her hair cut and I went over to ask her how everyone was. We both had lots of tears and thought ‘What could we do to help?’.

“I said ‘Why don’t we have a fashion show?’, and it started there and just snowballed. We only started to arrange this six or seven weeks ago, but it sold out so quickly.”

The event at the Best Western Capital Hotel in Clermiston Road will be hosted by Ms McManus and begins with a champagne reception, followed by a meal and a fashion show with models from Colours Model Agency.

Ms Richards will then take to the stage to perform three songs, followed by a half-hour set from Ms McManus.

Ms Ward said the singers had been keen to help.

She said: “I’ve actually had Michelle on board before for other fundraisers and found her absolutely fantastic so she would always be first choice.

“I did a photo shoot with Jade and she’d been into the salon a few weeks ago and I asked if she would be able to come in and help, and there was no hesitation.”

A fundraising auction is open to anyone to bid. Prizes include a week in the Algarve, visits to Hibs and Dundee United and a pampering day. To bid, call 07900 146672. To give directly, go to www.justgiving.com/Rachel-Appolinari.