Mum Anne shows her love for lost children
Devoted mum raises cash for charities
A devoted mum whose two children died after a battle with a rare genetic condition has taken part in her latest charity bid.
Anne Hollern, who lost little Robbie and Rosie to infantile Batten’s disease, has gathered more than £20,000 in their memory for the hospice they attended.
The Balloch mum’s latest brave bid saw her shave off her hair.
Anne told the Lennox:“A lot of people say‘I couldn’t do that’. Bearing in mind what I have been through, it doesn’t matter. It’s only hair and it will grow back.”
A brave mum who has devoted much of her life to fundraising in memory of two of her children has shaved her head to coin in cash for other charities.
So dedicated is Anne Hollern to the cause that, despite breaking her wrist hours after shedding her hair, she got it plastered up and returned to a fundraising party in order to maximise her charity collections.
The Balloch woman, along with husband Mark, has raised over £20,000 for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) as son Robbie and daughter Rosie attended Balloch’s Robin House during their battles with Infantile Batten’s Disease.
But Anne, of Kessog Gardens, wanted to honour friends and family who have been diagnosed with cancer over the years by shaving her head last month.
The mum, who works as a classroom assistant at Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh, said: “I did it for friends and family over the years that have been affected by cancer.
“I have done a lot for CHAS over the years because of our story and we have had a lot of support from the local community which I wanted to pay back.”
Anne has already totted up £2500 which she plans to split between the Vale of Leven Hospital oncology unit, Macmillan Cancer Support, St Margaret of Scotland Hospice and the Beatson Cancer Charity.
It is her latest fundraising venture after taking on a host of activities including several marathon Kiltwalk treks from Glasgow to Balloch for CHAS.
Devoted Anne was pregnant with Rosie when three-yearold Robbie was diagnosed with Infantile Batten’s Disease, a neurodegenerative genetic condition which causes seizures.
Every one kills a bit of the brain and, when diagnosed, the family were told it was terminal and that the children would only survive until mid-childhood. Rosie was later diagnosed with the devastating condition.
Robbie sadly died at the age of six in 2008 and Rosie passed away in her mum’s arms when she was eight, in 2014.
Anne and husband Mark, who have daughters Roxie, seven, and four-year-old Ruthie who are clear of the disease, still talk about their eldest children and ensure they are an integral part of the family.
The mum said: “We have lots of pictures of Robbie and Rosie round the house and the girls always talk about them. The hospice were great with us.
“I will never tire of talking about the hospice and I will still fundraise for Robin House and CHAS, but I needed something new to focus on.
“I just had it in my head I was going to do a head shave.
“A lot of people say ‘I couldn’t do that’. Bearing in mind what I have been through, it doesn’t matter. It’s only hair and it will grow back. It’s not the end of the world. I am totally blown away. I thought I would be lucky to get £1000.”
Anne’s head shave, carried out by hairdresser Eleanor Neeson, was broadcast live on Facebook with hundreds of people tuning in who gave generously as they watched.
Anne and husband Mark were then at a fancy dress birthday party that night at St Patrick’s Church Hall and Anne, dressed up as Foxxy Cleopatra to Mark’s Austin Powers, was armed with a fundraising bucket to collect donations.
But disaster struck as she explained: “I was on the corner of the stage and fell back. I put my hands down to save myself.
“We went to hospital at the Vale. They were laughing at us when we went in because we were dressed up. It all got plastered and we went back to the party. I wanted to go round people with my bucket.”
Anne thanked her friends at Christine Warren’s Slimming World group who kindly donated and Polaroid Eyewear who gave £200 towards her total.
Memories Anne with daughter Rosie
We are family, Roxie, seven, and Ruthie, four and inset Rosie and Robbie
Determined Anne Hollern who shaved her head for cancer charities