David and Helen Stickler have donated £2,000 to Leukaemia and Myeloma Research UK, (LMRUK) thanks to the kind and generous donations from family and friends who attended their daughter’s funeral.
The couple have also given the charity designer clothes owned by Rachel Stickler from Cardiff, who sadly passed away last year at the age of 51 from Acute Myeloma Leukaemia (AML).
They hope the sale of the clothes on LMRUK’s website will at least double the £2,000 donation in memory of a much-loved daughter they describe as a ‘brave, beautiful girl.’
Both David and Helen also want to raise awareness of the early symptoms of AML and improve diagnosis, as chemotherapy treatment and a stem cell transplant sadly came too late for Rachel.
“We were not aware of the early symptoms of AML so the eventual diagnosis came as a great shock to us,” said David.
“Rachel was determined to do all she could to get better, but the late diagnosis didn’t give her much chance of survival.”
Rachel first became unwell six months before the eventual diagnosis in the summer of 2021 when pain in her pelvic region gradually spread up her spine.
The results of initial blood tests did not raise any alarms and it was Rachel’s dentist who eventually voiced concerns about her condition. Subsequent blood tests were strongly positive for AML.
Rachel began chemotherapy at the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff in February 2022 and four months later, doctors felt she was ready for a stem cell transplant. Tragically, she became very weak after the transplant and passed away in intensive care on July 16th.
“When Rachel was first admitted to hospital, we were told that the late diagnosis of her condition made treatment difficult,” said David.
“Before her illness, Rachel was a strong and very fit woman. She loved running marathons, climbing mountains, cycling long distances. She was our brave, beautiful girl.”
Rachel was also much loved by colleagues in the Cardiff and Vale Council housing department, who have decided to set up an annual prize in her memory for the most deserving student on the Environmental Health degree course at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Rachel secured an upper second class honours degree in Food Science and her teaching diploma there.
Meanwhile, David and Helen hope Rachel’s story will help in LMRUK’s tireless work in the fight against blood cancer.
“We became aware of Leukaemia and Myeloma Research UK from the website and were both very keen to support it. There is clearly a lot of work to be done in raising awareness, as well as improving diagnosis and treatment of the condition,” said David.