Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice: Parents mark anniversary of 'bubbly' daughter's death with charity challenge

The parents of a ‘bubbly’ and ‘loving’ girl who lost her battle with cancer are showing their support for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in Sheffield.

By Robert Cumber
Saturday, 7th May 2022, 10:09 pm
Updated Sunday, 8th May 2022, 1:45 pm

Abigail Fleming died on April 3, 2012, aged just 14, after a courageous three-year battle with bone cancer.

She had spent two months at Bluebell Wood before dying surrounded by her family, and the charity had pulled out all the stops to make her last weeks extra special, including helping to organise a private bedside concert by her idol Ed Sheeran.

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South Yorkshire teenager Abigail Fleming with pop star Ed Sheeran, who performed a private bedside concert shortly before her death. Abigail's parents are taking on a series of fundraising challenges to show their gratitude to Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, in Sheffield, which supported Abigail during her final weeks

Now her parents, Maria and Richard, from Maltby, Rotherham, are marking the 10-year anniversary of her death by taking on a series of fundraising challenges over the coming 10 months to show their gratitude to the hospice.

Mum Maria said: “Abigail was a bubbly character with a love and people and life.

“Despite the effects of the chemotherapy, her personality meant she remained the mischievous character she had always been.”

In 2011, the family discovered there was nothing more doctors could do to help Abigail.

South Yorkshire teenager Abigail Fleming was supported by Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, in Sheffield, during the last two months of her life

“After previously visiting a friend at Bluebell Wood, Abigail’s wish was to spend whatever time she had left at the hospice,” said Maria.

“The care and support we received whilst residents of Bluebell Wood was second to none. From the clinical side of care to activities organised and meals provided, it all enabled us to spend more time together as a family.

“At the most difficult time of our lives, the Bluebell Wood team provided us with unconditional support and a shoulder to cry on.

“That’s why we want to raise as much as possible for Bluebell Wood, so they can provide the care we received to other families when they need it the most.”

She added: “The hospice makes life bearable when it’s unbearable.”

Maria was inspired by the support she received following Abigail’s death to train as a counsellor, qualifying in 2018, because she wanted to provide other families with the help she had received.

Over the next 10 months, Maria and Richard will be doing a series of fundraisers including a sponsored head shave, a community fair and more to reach their £5,000 target.