Belfast Telegraph

Lisa Black: Fundraising drive for cancer centre in memory of Navy hero of tsunami

By Chris Kilpatrick

The family of a naval officer who died from cancer just days before Christmas have launched a fundraising drive for the centre that cared for her - to an overwhelming response.

Lisa Black, a navigation officer with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, had helped those stricken by the Boxing Day tsunami that devastated south east Asia in 2004.

She passed away in hospital on Monday of last week at the age of just 36 and was buried in her home town of Ballycastle on Christmas Eve.

Her family said they had been overwhelmed by the support they have received from people since Lisa's death.

They have set up a fundraising page for charity Friends of the Cancer Centre at Belfast's City Hospital.

"Many people have requested a charity to donate to instead of purchasing flowers for Lisa's grave and we as a family did not have to think twice about where to send donations," they said.

"Even in her final days Lisa requested that we make a donation to this charity as she felt so well looked after and safe in their care.

"We have chosen Friends of the Cancer Centre in Belfast City Hospital.

"They support patients and their families through the difficult journey of dealing with cancer.

"We as a family could not thank the Cancer Centre and its amazing staff enough for the care that Lisa received, and indeed how well we were looked after, as we stayed by Lisa's bedside in her final weeks. They made an extremely difficult time a little more bearable."

Lisa travelled the world during her 12 years of service with the RFA. She had also served as equerry to the Earl of Wessex.

It was believed Ms Black had defeated the disease earlier this year after being given the all-clear, only for it to return.

Lisa's sister Kate said: "Firstly I wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who has messaged me with their kind words over the last few weeks.

"It's been a truly overwhelming experience."

Posting on Facebook she added: "In memory of my wonderful sister we are donating to the Friends of the Cancer Centre charity, who were an amazing support to both Lisa and our family over the past few months."

The family set a target of £300.

By yesterday afternoon more than £2,000 had been raised in donations.

Lisa's mother Madeline previously told this newspaper she had drawn comfort from her daughter's bravery.

"She inspired everybody she talked to, particularly anybody suffering from cancer," Mrs Black said.

"She had a stoic attitude.

"Lisa had been given the all-clear in September, but sadly it was a very ferocious cancer."

To donate visit: www.justgiving.com/Paula-Black2/

Background

Lisa Black and her mother Madeline, ­ a former chair of Moyle District Council, ­travelled to London in 2008 to receive an award for her late father, Captain Gerard Black, who was honoured with the Merchant Navy Medal. Lisa was a navigation officer with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She retired last year having spent 12 years with the RFA.

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