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Supermodel Caprice calls for funding after Colchester mum-of-two dies of brain tumour

PUBLISHED: 19:02 25 January 2019

Gemma was visited by Caprice at St Helena's Hospice in Colchester. Picture: BRAIN TUMOR RESEARCH

Gemma was visited by Caprice at St Helena's Hospice in Colchester. Picture: BRAIN TUMOR RESEARCH

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Former supermodel Caprice is helping to tell the story of brave Colchester mum Gemma Edgar, who died of a brain tumour just days before Christmas.

Caprice, Gemma and Gemma's parents Andy and Barbara Relf launched Brain Tumour Research's Wear A Hat Day in 2018 Picture: BRAIN TUMOR RESEARCHCaprice, Gemma and Gemma's parents Andy and Barbara Relf launched Brain Tumour Research's Wear A Hat Day in 2018 Picture: BRAIN TUMOR RESEARCH

The 1990s pin-up is sharing the details of her friendship with Gemma in a powerful new video in aid of Brain Tumour Research.

Gemma, a mum-of-two, was just 33 when she died, having witnessed the impact of brain tumours on families as a paediatric nurse.

She had also had to watch one of her sons undergo his own cancer surgery to remove his eye.

Now Caprice has launched an appeal in Gemma’s name to raise funds to help find a cure for a cancer she believes is underfunded and taking too many lives.

Gemma's parents, Andy and Barb, thanked Caprice for all her love and support, which she is carrying on with the charity Brain Tumour Research Picture: BRAIN TUMOR RESEARCHGemma's parents, Andy and Barb, thanked Caprice for all her love and support, which she is carrying on with the charity Brain Tumour Research Picture: BRAIN TUMOR RESEARCH

Caprice said: “When I met Gemma we had an instant bond because I myself was diagnosed with a brain tumour,

I was one of the luckier ones, they got rid of it, but I understood she went through the same surgery I did and I think it was her boys that helped her to fight for so long, because she wanted to be their mum for as long as absolutely possible.

“I am doing this for Gemma, she was such a bright, beautiful, loving mum and she deserved so much better.

“She wanted people to know her story and I hope this film will help her to achieve that. I will never forget her.”

Fundraisers who volunteered for the boot camp in memory of Gemma Edgar.Fundraisers who volunteered for the boot camp in memory of Gemma Edgar.

The pair first met a year ago when they attended an event at the Brain Tumour Research charity’s HQ in Milton Keynes.

They bonded over their diagnoses – Caprice had undergone surgery a year earlier, having discovered she had a low-grade brain tumour while competing on the television skiing contest The Jump – and both were mums to two young boys.

Her friendship brought comfort not only to Gemma but to her parents Andy and Barb, who kept a constant vigil at their beloved daughter’s bedside.

In the UK, 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The fundraisers hard at work on the boot camp for Germma Edgar.The fundraisers hard at work on the boot camp for Germma Edgar.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, but only receives 1% of the national spend on cancer research.

Work to raise money in Gemma’s name is already underway, with more than 100 people taking part in a boot camp at Friar’s Grove Primary School in Colchester.

The fundraiser for the Brain Tumour Research charity, thought up by Gemma’s friend Kirstie Enefer, has so far raised more than £2,000, with further donations still coming in.

The idea for the boot camp came from Gemma’s friend Kirstie Enefer, 43, of St John’s, Colchester, as Gemma was being cared for in St Helena’s hospice.

Gemma Edgar, who died of a brain tumour.
 Picture: STEVE ARGENTGemma Edgar, who died of a brain tumour. Picture: STEVE ARGENT

Kirstie first got to know Gemma when her son Jamie started in the same reception class as Gemma’s son Dylan.


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