Fiona Carlisle was a family woman, it was so ingrained in her DNA, that when she was asked what her religion was, her first answer was family. Sadly, at only 55 years of age, Fiona lost her battle with Lung Cancer. She is survived by her husband Paul and four children.
Now, in her honour, her family want to say thank you to Silver Chain who cared for Fiona during her toughest times. Together, the Carlisle family has raised more than $5000 to donate to Silver Chain in the hope more people can be cared for in their homes.
"It started as a simple idea,” her daughter Sarah Strachan said. “Mum wanted to dye her hair purple because she had lost so much of it in such a short time. To support her, we all dyed a purpled streak into our hair – even my nan, who’s usually such an old school straight shooter.
“We had a goal of raising $500, but as soon as we put it on social media with the hashtag #GoPurpleforFiona it spread so quickly. We’d tell mum every time a new donation came in or someone posted a picture of their purple hair. She was so humbled by it all because she was always such a giving person, she couldn’t believe people cared.
"We’ve been able to raise close to $2500 from friends and family, and my dad agreed to match the final donation.”
Sarah said her mother was adamant about giving back to Silver Chain because of the support they gave her and her family. “We had no exposure or knowledge of Silver Chain before mum got sick,” Sarah said. “We thought Silver Chain was ‘just for old’ people – we didn’t realise just how much care and support they were able to provide for not just mum but for our whole family as well."
“At first, Silver Chain would visit once a day to help with medication support, but when things started to go downhill, they were at our house up to six times a day to help with their palliative care services.
"There were times when should could have gone to hospital, but thanks to the support we had, she didn’t need to. It meant we could have mum at home for a bit longer. It gave us more time to spend with her, we even had little slumber parties in her room because no one wanted to leave her side.
“Silver Chain really made coping with such traumatic and sad time for the family easier and the whole family feels so fortunate and lucky to have had access to their services. Every person from Silver Chain was amazing and made mum feel really good emotionally and as comfortable as possible.
"We hope our fundraising can help raise awareness of the great work Silver Chain does, as my mum said – you would never know you need them until you do.”