An incredible £75,000 raised in memory of beloved Southport Mum Catherine Gokcen will go towards improving the lives of cancer patients and their families in Merseyside.
The money was raised by Catherine’s husband Neil, her children Eve and Tom, plus other family members and friends after she tragically died from cancer at the age of 48 earlier this year.
Catherine’s family were determined to raise as much money as they could in her memory.
They completed a skydive from 15,000ft over Lancashire, with people still able to donate via their JustGiving fundraising page here: https://bit.ly/3DFT2cv
Every penny raised will go toward the Larks at the Marina Dalglish Appeal.
They also organised sportsman’s evenings, ladies’ nights, wine tastings, and other charity events.
On Saturday Neil, Eve and Tom presented a cheque for £75,859.71 to Sir Kenny Dalglish and Marina Dalglish, a sign of their determination to make a difference to the lives of people whose lives have been affected by cancer.
A total of nine people completed the charity skydive in Catherine’s memory on 8th October 2022, on the weekend that would have been her 49th birthday.
Neil, Eve and Tom Gokcen said: “On Saturday we proudly presented our Skydive for Catherine cheque, on behalf of our whole skydive group. The amount raised is phenomenal! Our £50,000 target has been well and truly smashed.
“Thank you to Marina and Kenny, for all of their support in raising money for Larks at the Marina Dalglish Appeal. The past few months have been far from easy, for many reasons, but Saturday was a truly special day and something we’ll never forget.
“We launched this fundraiser in May, when Catherine was here with us. She’d be prouder than words could say, and the Larks was so, so important to her.
“Catherine very sadly passed away in June, and is an inspiration to many, who knew her personally or have heard her story.
“Over 1,000 people have been involved in this fundraiser, in some way or other. It’s just incredible.
“There’s been over 650 donors on our Just Giving page, and it doesn’t stop there.
“As well as kindly donating, people have shown their generosity in so many ways. Whether that’s through attending wine tasting and sportsman’s evenings, garden Larkfests, hiking and running half marathons, hosting charity golf days, enjoying pamper parties and raffles, selling virtual glasses of Catherine’s Wine, joining us for our Ladies’ Night, organising cake sales, selling Strictly sweepstake tickets and knitted snoods, free workouts, providing skydive snacks, or of course generously donating independent business vouchers, products, gym equipment, spa and golf trips and so much more to our auctions and raffles.
“The list honestly goes on and we will never comprehend how generous every single person involved has been.
“The Skydive for Catherine fundraiser has been much more than raising money. We’ve felt the love more than we could have ever imagined and we feel it’s a testament to the love so many continue to hold for our wife, mum, sister, cousin, auntie and friend Catherine.”
Three years ago Catherine Gokcen was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, which came as a huge shock to all those close to her.
Initially contracting breast cancer, it then spread to other areas of her body. In June last year Catherine underwent an emergency operation at the Walton Centre in Liverpool where she narrowly avoided paralysis thanks to the skill and determination of the surgeons.
Her family have been determined to raise as much money as they can for the Larks at the Marina Dalglish Appeal, a charity organisation for women living with breast cancer, and set up a page called ‘Our Skydive for Catherine and the Larks’ on the JustGiving website.
Services provided there include counselling, reiki, reflexology and treatments that are used to help and ease the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Additionally, hair and nail treatments are offered, along with an opportunity to share experiences with women in similar situations.
The skydiving daredevils included Catherine’s husband, Neil, their children Eve and Tom; plus Lisa Forth; Sarah, Will and Matt Barwell; Sharon Clarke; Ryyan Winter; and Stephen Dunne, who is Neil’s business partner as they co-own Birkdale Kitchen Co. in Birkdale in Southport.