Through the generous support of friends and family in their home village of Hopeman in Morayshire and beyond, the late Anne-Elaine Thoms, backed by husband Pete, son Kenny and daughters Catherine and Jennifer, became a committed supporter of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM).
Although Anne-Elaine had lived with multiple sclerosis (MS) since 1996, she always looked on the bright side of life, being thankful for what she could still do rather than regretful for what she could no longer do. She followed CRM's research into stem cells and MS with interest and on celebrating her 60th birthday, instead of receiving presents, she requested donations towards MS research at CRM: a sum of over £450 was realised.
Sadly, in December 2013, shortly before her 61st birthday, Anne-Elaine passed away. As a tribute to her, the family decided to continue her efforts to raise funds for CRM. At the Memorial Service, donations towards CRM were invited in lieu of flowers. In addition, Kenny set up an online 'Just Giving' page for people who were unable to make it to the service. It is a mark of the love, respect and admiration accorded to Anne-Elaine that a total of over £4,000 was raised.
"Anne-Elaine and I were together for 40 years," said Pete. "She was a wonderful person - a lovely wife and a brilliant Mum. We all miss her dreadfully, but we know she would have been delighted that the money we raised contributes towards stem cell research to better understand and ultimately find treatments for MS and other degenerative diseases."
Kenny added, "Mum was always practical, calm, loving and caring - everything you need when you're growing up. It was her who inspired me to take up a career in Physiotherapy with a focus on neurological diseases."
So far the Thoms Family have raised over £5,000. It is through the efforts of people like them that we are able to continue our vital research into distressing conditions like MS. Moreover, their fundraising has done much to raise awareness of our research amongst the wider community - an equally important goal. CRM is extremely grateful for their generous and continued support.