BEAUTY products, festival tickets and clothes are among the gifts you might expect to find on a typical teenage girl’s birthday wish list.
But two big-hearted young woman have chosen instead to give up more traditional 18th birthday celebrations to help people fighting cancer.
Lifelong friends Rachel Anderson and Abby Perry, born less than a month apart, have organised a coming-of-age fundraiser in aid of Maggie’s Edinburgh – which also turns 18 this year.
The duo are billing their fundraising disco at Electric Circus, on June 8, as a triple celebration.”
Maggie’s Centres provide practical and emotional support to people with cancer and their family and friends.
Rachel, whose birthday is on May 9, has a long connection to the charity through her family – father Andy has been Centre Head at Maggie’s Edinburgh for 14 years while mother Kellie advises on nutrition.
Rachel, of Barnton Park Grove, said: “Because my mum and dad are involved I could see the many different aspects of the charity.
“Every day I hear about somebody’s life that has been changed by a 15-minute chat.
“Plus, my friend and I have always wanted to do something together because we mean so much to each other and our birthdays are so close.”
While a hospital provides the physical care, Maggie’s supplies equally important “emotional support”, she added.
The former Mary Erskine pupils have set a target of at least £300 but hope to raise “a lot more”.
Abby, of Comely Bank Road, Stockbridge, turned 18 on Thursday. She began fundraising for the charity after hearing about its good work through Rachel.
Abby said: “It’s a big year for Maggie’s and a big year for us. We wanted to do something fun at the end of school and for some good to come out of it.”
The invite-only Hollywood-themed event will include a DJ and karaoke, with 10 per cent of the bar takings going to Maggie’s Centres.
Andy Anderson said: “I am so proud of them both. Obviously Maggie’s is a big part of their lives and it’s a big year for the centre, but they didn’t need to give up their birthdays.”
Centre staff have been invited because Rachel has grown close to them over the years.
“It also only seems right for them to come along because this is also a celebration for Maggie”, she added.
Moving forward, Rachel is going to the University of St Andrews to study social anthropology, while Abby is going down to Yorkshire Coast College, Scarborough, to study costume design.
The girls have set up a Just Giving page at http://www.justgiving.com/18th.