A north-east woman is set to fulfil her last promise to her mother – by soaring on the wings of a plane.
Karen Stewart, 49, promised her mum Irene on her deathbed she would raise money for causes close to her heart – promising to take part in a wing walk.
Irene lost her battle with dementia in 2016, aged 74 – and Karen, owner of firm This Little Piggy Marketing, has pledged to raise £5,000 for animal charities and causes which support people with dementia.
She said her mother’s love of animals prompted her decision to raise what she can for a selection of different animal rescue causes.
Initially starting off as a sponsored walk to raise cash, Karen made the decision to raise the stakes, opting for a more daring option which will take place in Yorkshire.
And she admits she is somewhat apprehensive about the effort, due to take place in September, Karen said: “I’m both nervous and excited about the wing walk, and pleased yet emotional to be doing it in mum’s memory, she was a huge animal lover and although I made the promise when she was very close to the end of her life, I think she understood me.
“I’ve chosen five very worthy charities to support – AFC Community Trust Dementia Friendly Programmes, Deeside Cats Protection, Forget Me Not Dementia Club in Banchory, Halfpenny Farm Animal Sanctuary near Inverurie and the Scottish SPCA.
“The charities work tirelessly to help those they support and I’d love it if individuals or businesses with an affinity for animal welfare or the plight of dementia sufferers could find it in their hearts to help. I’m very grateful to those who have already donated.”
Making the promise right at the end of her life, Karen believes that Irene understood what she was saying.
She said: “She was smiling right up until the end and I took her hand and told her I was going to do a wing walk for animals and people with dementia. “When she passed it was like my world came crashing down.”
Speaking about her mum, Karen said: “She would do anything for anyone and never thought of herself – I know that sounds a bit like a stereotype but it’s true.
“My brother and I used to say, “how did she end up having us?”