Tribute to ‘my beautiful Fiona’, loving mother and wife
FIONA French will be remembered for bringing positivity into the lives of everyone she met.
Hundreds of people will gather tomorrow at the Nikenbah Baptist Church to celebrate Fiona's 47 years of life, one week after she lost her battle with breast cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Fiona was a wife to Mark, a mother to her four children Tyran, Breanna, Lachlan and Jemima, a long-time TAFE teacher at the Hervey Bay campus and a dedicated community member.
A Gofundme page has been set up in hope of raising money for the French Family in Hervey Bay. At 8.30am on Friday $7,670 had been raised.
Her husband Mark said Fiona was always putting others first, one of the many reasons she was the light of his life.
"Fiona was a wonderful wife; it's hard not having her here," he said.
"She touched a lot of people's lives through teaching at the TAFE, she was involved in the Baptist Church and little athletics.
"Fiona would always be there on Saturdays at soccer on the sideline supporting her kids."
Since losing his soulmate, Mark said the community, the hospital staff and family and friends have shown overwhelming support.
"We were planning on having a big 25th wedding anniversary," he said.
"The Monday before she died we were in hospital, I whispered into her ear 'Happy 24-and-a-half year anniversary'."
TOP FRASER COAST STORIES
In late February Fiona began her second battle with cancer, her first bout with the disease was in 2003 while pregnant with her now 12-year-old daughter Jemima.
In the months leading up to her passing, Fiona told Mark there were a few things she wanted to tick off her bucket list.
"She said to me, 'if I was to die, I want to get a formal dress organised for our daughter'," Mark said.
"Fiona was very good at planning things."
Earlier this year Fiona, Mark and their 17-year-old daughter Breanna travelled to the Gold Coast to find the perfect formal dress.
"To see my wife how she was and then to see her smile with this sense of accomplishment when she saw Breanna in that dress was amazing," Mark said.
"God, she looked beautiful."
One other thing Fiona wanted to tick off her bucket list was to see her daughter get her driver licence.
"Breanna's test happened to be last Friday, of all days," Mark said.
"I said to Breanna, 'You don't have to do this, the decision is yours', but she wanted to for her mum."
Mark and the family made the decision to turn off Fiona's life support at 1pm last Friday.
Mark stayed by Fiona's side, unsure when she would slip away.
"I hadn't heard from Breanna, I didn't know if she had got it or not," he said.
Two-and-a-half hours later there was a knock at the door, it was Breanna holding a piece of paper saying she got her licence.
Fiona was still there, still holding on.
"We all burst into tears," Mark said.
"All the other kids came in and we spent five minutes crying, fist bumping and high-fiving - it was a wave of emotion.
"She did it, she did it for her mum.
"It's as if Fiona knew, once the kids left the room, she knew it was time to go."
"Soon after she gave her last breath.
"She went peacefully and pain free, my beautiful Fiona.
Fiona's funeral will be tomorrow at 1.30pm at the Baptist Church, Nikenbah.
The family has requested anyone attending to wear bright colours.