Port Talbot mum's final legacy will help others
FUNDS raised for a brave Port Talbot mum who tragically died of skin cancer last month are to be donated to local charities.
Nearly £80,000 was raised for Gina Herman by her friends, family and the community of Port Talbot last year.
The mum of four from Tanygroes Street was suffering from a form of skin cancer and had been told by specialists that the drug Yervoy (ipilimumab) was the only hope of prolonging her life.
It is now available on the NHS, but last year Mrs Herman was turned down for the drug on cost grounds.
Thanks to numerous successful fundraisers and people's generosity, Mrs Herman began treatment in October. But sadly her battle with cancer ended last month.
Her close friend Tracey Lewis, who spearheaded the fundraising campaign, which saw scores of events take place to raise cash said they have been left with £23,874.
She said they now plan to distribute it to Port Talbot charities.
"It's quite a substantial amount and hopefully we can help quite a few charities out with it," she said. "I would like to appeal to local charities to write to us so we can distribute the money evenly."
Ms Lewis said a few of the main fundraisers, together with Gina's husband Colin, will be meeting next week to decide on who should get the funds.
"There are five or six of us who were the main fundraisers and we are to meet next week to decide on where the money should go," she said.
"The funds came from such a wide area from people in Port Talbot.
"I think Gina would have wanted it to go to the charities."
Ms Lewis said they have already decided to give a proportion to Marie Curie and the Neath Port Talbot Cancer Challenge.
"Steve Lewis is doing a bike ride in June for Marie Curie so we hope to give some funds to that," she said.
"There are also 45 of us doing the Three Peaks Challenge in June in memory of Gina for the Neath Port Talbot Cancer Challenge. So we thought we would bump the fundraising up with the fund as well."
During their first fundraiser in September at the Aberafan Shopping Centre, a total of £5,000 was raised when Marie Partridge had her hair shaved off.
Events have also included a Zumbathon, an entertainment night at Tata Steel Football Club, a Motown night at Aberavon Quins, a Sunday lunch at Station Road cafe Ferrari's and a sponsored sky dive.
Hollywood star Michael Sheen also made a personal donation to Mrs Herman and donated various items from The Passion, Twilight, and Soccer Aid for a fundraising night at Blanco's Hotel.
Any Port Talbot charities which wish to be considered should email Ms Lewis, at firstname.lastname@example.org