For me this is one of the hardest letters I've ever had to write as there are not enough words to describe what a remarkable person she was and how I'm feeling right now.
Having met Steph through Birmingham City Ladies back in 1999, Steph my captain welcomed me into the club with open arms. In my eyes not only was she a great leader but she easily inspired many people on and off the pitch with her passion, commitment and endeavour. Her laughter and banter echoed by Archie were inseparable, between them bringing so much energy to the club. Steph's character naturally bought people together and to me made her the very core of Birmingham City. We were never just a club but a family built on the simple belief that anything was possible as we played every game for each other.
Having decided to move to America with her husband T and daughter Lili now 5, Steph was embarking on a new and exciting chapter in her life. Unfortunately, having only been there a short while she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This news was a massive shock and at the time I personally couldn't help but admire her strength and courage because she refused to be defeated. Even being told a year later she had secondary cancer in the liver, not once did she allow it to weaken her spirit and to give up hope. Her positivity came in abundance and her determination and desire to beat this was the only option in her head. With the love and support of T, Lili, family and friends she remained brave and courageous even through her toughest times continuing to be that happy smiley Steph we all knew, loved and respected.
Sadly, at the age of 35, the cancer became so aggressive it took over her body and unexpectedly took her life. She passed away on the 12th March 2016.
Our thoughts and sympathy are with Stephs family at this very sad time and we support them however we can in bringing her home.
As Stephs wishes were to be laid to rest in Birmingham, the family are working towards bringing her back. Not only is it difficult as they are still waiting on dates they have since encountered further problems regarding her burial here. As she has been living out the country she is no longer registered on the electoral roll and therefore the family are faced with unexpected burial costs in excess of £8000. There are so many things I could say about this, but right now the most important thing is to share this post via Facebook and Twitter as quickly as possible and spread the word. This is a huge ask I know, but Stephs family urgently need our help and support in raising as much funds so we can to give Steph the farewell she rightly deserves. As a mother myself, I can only imagine the heartbreak her mother Gail and father Patrick are going through. Just the thought alone of being in that position with my own child breaks my heart. For any parent, unable to fulfil their child's final wishes only adds to the heartache and loss. This is where we need to come together and help Stephs family through this difficult time, they have suffered enough and have been through so much already we need to help!
Birmingham City Ladies have kindly offered to help us and raise monies for the family. They are proposing for a bucket shake on the 24th April in their game against Manchester City along with other fundraising ideas we are currently working on. Please help in anyway you can even if it's coming to support the game in memory of Steph a true blue legend.
In the meantime please help with donations or even ideas to increase funds which will be hugely appreciated.
Please please start sharing this post and start donating now ...
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