Biggest Morning Tea in honour of Una Forrester

By Madeleine Caccianiga

To honour the memory of her mother, Fiona Forrester will host her first Biggest Morning Tea next month.

At just 21, Fiona has been dealt more heartache than most young adults after the loss of her mother this year to cancer.

After battling stage four T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for 14 months, Una Forrester passed away peacefully at her Shepparton home in February.

Saying goodbye to a loving mother, friend, wife and community member, Fiona spent her time treasuring every moment she had left with the woman she called her best friend.

‘‘It was really hard watching her go through treatment and watching how sick she got, knowing we couldn’t do anything,’’ Fiona said.

In January Fiona said her family was faced with its biggest battle when they were told the cancer had moved into Una’s brain.

‘‘She was hospitalised with mild confusion and her health just deteriorated extremely quickly,’’ Fiona said.

The family was informed about another treatment that could provide them with a few extra months with Una.

‘‘At this point she wasn’t understanding, so as a family we decided we didn’t want to put her through any more,’’ Fiona said.

‘‘She was comfortable and went peacefully.’’

Remembering all the love and care shown for her mother while she was receiving treatment, Fiona wanted to give back to the Cancer Council and put her hand up to fundraise.

‘‘I was looking for something to fundraise because I am so thankful for all they did for my mum throughout her treatment — it didn’t cure my mum, but it gave us another year together,’’ she said.

Originally planning on a hosting a small event, Fiona reached out to local businesses for donations.

‘‘The response has been overwhelming — I have received donations from over 40 companies,’’ she said.

‘‘Due to this huge support and generosity I decided to extend my invite and make my event larger — I’m now expecting around 70 people at my house.’’

While her heart continues to ache from the loss of her mother, Fiona said her pain was shared by many who had also been affected by cancer.

Looking forward to sharing her mother’s story, Fiona said she hoped to inspire people to feel hopeful, passionate, kind and resilient.

‘‘I know that with support they will find a cure,’’ she said.

‘‘All funds raised will go to Cancer Council to support research, prevention programs, and help continue to support those impacted by cancer — like my late mother and family.’’