Essex

Caprice in brain tumour appeal for mum Gemma Edgar

Caprice and Gemma Edgar Image copyright Brain Tumour Research
Image caption Caprice said she had an "instant bond" with mum-of-two Gemma

Model Caprice has launched an appeal in honour of her friend's "dying wish" to boost funding for cancer research.

Mum-of-two Gemma Edgar, 33, from Colchester, died just days before Christmas.

Launching an appeal in her friend's name, Caprice, who herself had a brain tumour, said she wanted people to know her friend's story.

In a video, Caprice speaks fondly of the "instant bond" she had with the former paediatric nurse.

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

The video also shows one of the visits the model made to Mrs Edgar at St Helena Hospice, in Colchester, where the keen runner spent her final weeks.

Caprice - who had surgery for a low-grade brain tumour in 2017 - said: "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 achieve that."

In the four years since Mrs Edgar was told she had a brain tumour, her friends and family have raised almost £30,000 for Brain Tumour Research.

They have also collected an additional £20,000 for the Children's Eye Cancer Trust after her youngest son Noah lost an eye to cancer.

Image copyright Brain Tumour Research
Image caption Gemma with Caprice and her parents, Andy and Barb Relf, at the launch of Brain Tumour Research's Wear A Hat Day

Mrs Edgar's father, Andy Relf, said Caprice had been "a great support" to the whole family.

He added: "We are honoured that Caprice is promoting Gemma's story. Not only does it keep her memory alive, but it will raise awareness of the need for proper funding into brain tumour research.

"We need a cure to be found to give other families a happier outcome."

Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and the under 40s but historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to it.

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