Concert in memory of Royal Preston Hospital neonatal nurse Rachel Turner, from Blackpool, raises funds for Rosemere Cancer Foundation

Friends of Blackpool nursing sister Rachel Turner, who tragically died of skin cancer at the age of 30 just weeks after getting married, paid a musical tribute to her that raised more than £1,400 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 12:30 pm

Rachel, née Walmsley, who worked in neonatal intensive care at the Royal Preston Hospital, loved to sing.

Before going on to sing with local band The Sonic Jam Project, she would often join four-piece Blackpool party band The Love Cats on stage to perform alongside its vocalist and one of

her best friends Franki Hardisty, who is also a nurse working at the resort’s Whitegate Health Centre.

Neonatal nurse Rachel Turner, who tragically died of skin cancer in July

It was Franki who came up with the idea for the charity concert at Blackpool’s Stanley Ward Conservative Club.

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Band members, family and friends all then helped with its organisation.

Franki performed with The Love Cats, which played two songs that Rachel sang as part of The Sonic Jam Project’s show set, and sang with John Walters as the duo Franki & Johnny.

The Love Cats on stage at the charity concert tribute to Rachel Turner, with Rachel’s friend and The Love Cats lead singer Franki Hardisty pictured centre

There was also a bottle bola and raffle supported by numerous local businesses and a bucket collection with The Love Cats donating its band fee.

The band’s bassist Ron Ingram said: “Rachel would often join us on stage. It was always impromptu. She loved singing and dancing.

“She was great fun so putting on a concert for a charity chosen by her husband Gavin and getting the audience up and dancing was a fitting tribute.”

Rachel was diagnosed with late stage skin cancer in 2019 after discovering a mole on her leg.

She underwent surgery and immunotherapy at the Rosemere Cancer Centre but, sadly, her cancer spread to other parts of her body with a tumour wrapping itself around the vessels of

her heart.

Earlier this year, Rachel, from Bispham, spoke to The Gazette in the hope of raising awareness of skin cancer.

She said: “I don’t think people realise that melanoma is just as dangerous as other cancers once it is under the skin.

“I want to use this opportunity to raise awareness because a lot of the time, I think people just think it’s from a mole that looks dodgy.”

Rachel and her partner Gavin Turner got married in April after staff at the neonatal unit set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money to pay for the couple’s dream day.

But Rachel sadly died a few months later, in July this year.

Franki said: “Rachel used her cancer journey to raise awareness of skin cancer.

“She was incredibly brave.

“We wanted to continue her work while raising money for Rosemere Cancer Foundation at the same time.”

Rosemere Cancer Foundation works to bring world class cancer treatments and services to cancer patients from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria being treated at Rosemere

Cancer Centre, which is the region’s specialist cancer treatment and radiotherapy centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.

It also supports another eight local hospital cancer units across the two counties, including that at Blackpool Victoria Hospital where it funded the acute cancer triage unit that opened last

year to provide urgent care for its cancer patients so they can bypass A&E.

The charity funds equipment, clinical research, staff training and services that the NHS cannot afford. Visit www.rosemere.org.uk for more information.

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