Article in thumb print, MND Association magazine, Summer 2009
A Fitting Tribute: creating an online tribute fund for my father
by Suzanne Satow
I created the tribute fund website for my father the week after he died. As I looked for information on the MND Association website on forwarding monetary donations made at the funeral, I came across a page about the tribute fund websites hosted by muchloved.com. Ten minutes later I began ‘building’ our site – www.jim.bailey.muchloved.com
It is hard to express how much this helped me through this very sad time. My father died nine months after receiving his diagnosis. He faced every day with dignity, bravery and his great sense of humour. He was everything to me and to be able to preserve the lovely memories our family and friends have of him on the website gave me a feeling of strength and purpose. We had lost a very special person but we were trying to help others in the same situation and that was very cathartic. My father had begun writing his memoirs but did not manage to finish them before his death. We have published his first chapter on the website. He would have been so proud to ‘be’ a website and to see his words in print! We asked friends to write their reminiscences and include these alongside the eulogies my sister and brother gave at the funeral. My daughter and my niece ‘post’ messages for their Grandpa. We have also enjoyed looking through our family photographs choosing ones for the site.
Creating a website looked daunting at first but the templates are easy to fill in and if you can attach an image to an email you can do it! The technical team at muchloved.com was so helpful and encouraging. Each month we receive an update on the fund’s total. We have raised over £1800 – with friends as near as next-door and as far away as Israel and America able to make donations online. It has given us the impetus to plan future fundraising events to feature on the site. My brother and his wife’s are undertaking a sponsored bike ride from London to Paris and we are trying to persuade my brother-in-law to do the next MND Firewalk! Three of my father’s friends ran the Chicago Marathon; raising money to sponsor a guide dog for the blind – named ‘Bailey’ in my father's honour. We are tracking Bailey's progress on the website in ‘Peggy’s Journal’.
As we add to the website and cover current events it almost feels like it is taking on a life of its own and this is the way we wish to honour my father. He was a good man who did good things for his friends and family. We want to carry on in the same way and, in a small way, help other people affected by MND. My one regret? That my father did not see his website – he would have got a big kick out of it. Our five-year-old daughter tells me however that there are internet cafés in heaven so Grandpa will have seen it – a nice thought!
Please take a look at www.jim.bailey.muchloved.com and click on ‘Contribute’ to leave us a message.
Article from thumb print, MND Association magazine, Summer 2009