On the 9th June 2014 the Shannon Bradshaw Community Centre and its charity The Shannon Bradshaw Trust lost one of its valuable trustee’s, Mary Bonner. Mary Bonner was also our mum!
After our dad died in 2002, mum needed a purpose and new direction in life! Her friendship with Alan and Patti Bradshaw was to be the start of a very special friendship and relationship. Patti and Alan had lost their daughter Shannon, aged 7, in July 2002. Shannon had been diagnosed with a life threatening condition Aplastic Anaemia in February of that year. After being told a bone marrow transplant was her only hope of a cure, but with no suitable donor on the register, her aunt Jackie organised Blood Donor clinics throughout the North West. This resulted in almost 7000 people registering with the Anthony Nolan Trust, an organisation specialising in matching patients with suitable bone marrow donors. Unfortunately, by the time a perfect match was found Shannon was too ill to have the life-saving operation and sadly, on the 17 July 2002, just 5 short months after first diagnosis, she lost her very brave battle.
After experiencing first hand the effects of having a child with a life-threatening condition and the trauma felt by the whole family, Patti and Alan Bradshaw wanted to help other children and their families who sadly found themselves in similar situations. This was the start of The Shannon Bradshaw Trust and the charity helps families of children with life threatening illnesses. More information of their outstanding work can be found at http://www.shannonstrust.org.uk/
Mum worked full time but in 2005 she was persuaded by Patti and Alan to become a part of The Shannon Bradshaw Trust, and this she did with gusto and her vibrant personality. She worked tirelessly for the charity, giving up her spare time to fundraise and promote the charity. She was a trustee and later became their Chairperson.
When mum retired in 2012, there was only one thing that she wanted to do. Voluntarily she gave 5 days a week of her time to further enhance the charity. Her vision, along with Patti, had been to open a community centre and café bringing the older generation and younger one together. They found the perfect premises, next to Great Sankey Police Station. It was hard work but they opened it and it has gone from strength to strength. Mum could always be found there, working hard to serve the public and raise money and awareness for the charity. She was even there on the Saturday before she passed away, such was her commitment and dedication to The Trust. Tributes to her work were published in the local newspaper http://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/11277615.Tributes_paid_to_Great_Sankey_children_s_charity_chairman/ and she even managed to ensure that a little girl with a life threatening condition met her idols One Direction (although mum had passed away before the girl met them so she missed the pictures).
Mum died from heart failure and my sister, Claire and I, like to think she gave away every bit of her beautiful heart!