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Tragedy-hit East Lancashire families join to raise cash
TWO families rocked by tragedy have come together to raise money for seriously ill child-ren.
Rachael Gavin, 24, a teacher of Wilpshire, Blackburn, lost her teaching assistant boy-friend Matt Boardman to an epilepsy-related illness in February.
Before his death, aged 22, the couple had been touched by the death of seven-year-old Madison Allan of Lower Darwen, having read about her battle with cancer in the Lancashire Telegraph.
After Matt’s death, donations in his memory flooded in, and his parents Diane and Paul Boardman of Prince Lee Meadows, Darwen, decided to give £1,000 to Madison’s charity, Maddi’s Butterflies.
Rachael has also decided to run the Liverpool marathon for the charity, which aims to give treats to children with cancer. Diane said: “When Matt died we didn’t know the Allan’s, but when we chose his burial plot, we wanted it next to Madison’s.
“Even though he had died, we take comfort from the fact he has a purpose — to look after Madison.
“In Matt’s job as a teaching assistant he would often nickname children ‘smiler’ and he was a real smiler himself, bringing joy to people’s lives.
“When we read that Maddi’s Butterflies hoped to put a smile back on the faces of children with cancer, it seemed perfect.”
Rachael, who has pre-viously run marathons for other local charities, hopes to raise another £2,000. Madison’s mum Samantha Allan said her family was ‘extremely touched’.
She said: “We put a lot of thought into where to bury Madison, and bought the plot next to hers for my mum.
“When we saw the next-door-but one grave, we wondered who it might be and when we found out it was Matt, it seemed so perfect.
“He was really sweet and was called the ‘pied piper’ because children loved him. I know Madison would have liked him.
“Rachael has told me that she and Matt used to talk about Madison, so it means a lot.”
Sponor Rachael at: justgiving.com/rachael gavin