THE death of a child prompted a Caernarfon mum and grandma to channel their grief into helping others whilst achieving a lifetime’s ambition to open a fashion boutique.
Former model and West End dancer Amanda Farrow, 35, lost her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Sienna Skye to cancer. But with her mum Barbara Farrow, 73, she has opened a new shop called Sienna Skye, on the High Street, in Caernarfon.
The blonde child, who was herself a model for children’s clothing Mama and Papas, was diagnosed with a brain tumour on October 31, in 2011. She died just six week’s later.
Days before she lost her daughter, Amanda, formerly of Bangor, underwent back surgery. Further surgery meant she couldn’t work and she later went though a divorce.
Then, Barbara, a former shorthand typist originally from Cheshire, developed skin cancer on her nose. She has since had a skin graft and is fully recovered but the experience, Amanda said, “knocked her confidence.”
But despite the setbacks, the pair pulled themselves through by focusing on starting a business and fundraising. They have thrown themselves into helping others and even Sienna’s 10-year-old brother Tristan has pitched in with sponsored walks.
After Sienna Skye died, the family initially helped raise £24,000 for the Alder Hey hospital which treats children with cancer.
Amanda said: “It was an awful time, “At the time of my daughter’s death I was in horrific physical and mental pain,” said Amanda.
“It was me and mum’s ambition to open a little boutique, and naming it Sienna Skye just seemed perfect. After she died we threw ourselves into raising money for Alder Hey. Although I have my own disabilities, I have continued to help raise money for the terminally ill.
“We have helped Donna McClelland, a mum from Pwllheli, who has terminal cancer, and Ezra Elliott, from near Caernarfon, who is only six, and has a very rare brain condition,” by holding fundraising beauty events.”
“Rather than being down beat about Sienna’s tragic death, her spirit has inspired us as a family to continue raising money in her name, helping local projects. I am passionate about raising awareness for bereavement, mental health, children's opportunities and getting involved and supporting charities.”
Barbara said: “For us, helping others and getting the shop up and running, has been a way for us to focus on something positive. Helping others, has helped us get through difficult times.”
Now the pair are calling for anyone would like help to get I touch.
“There are opportunities to host fundraising events, fashion shows, or fundraising private shopping evenings, in the shop since we launched in June, and we are open to all sorts of ideas.”
Contact Amanda and Barbara on 07500 567 407 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (See Facebook @Siennaskyeboutique