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Baking in memory of part-time model who died aged 29

The family of Victoria Van Der Westhuizen, who died in January, have set up a charity in her memory

From left: Fiona, CJ, Victoria, David and Alexander on the wedding day at All Saints Church in Odiham.

The family of a part-time model, who lived a life blighted by cancer, are holding a special baking day in her memory.

Victoria Van Der Westhuizen (née Eastman), from Hook, died of a rare and aggressive form of cancer in January aged 29.

Hundreds of people attended her funeral at All Saints’ in Odiham, the church where she married her husband CJ just 13 months earlier.

The same church was the venue for the funeral of her father David, who died of cancer aged 69 in January 2013, just a month after her big day.

Victoria’s mother Fiona, brother Alexander and CJ have set up a charity in her memory called Victoria’s Promise, which aims to use her positivity and energy to help support others through their battle with cancer.

The charity has launched a special Victoria Sponge Bake Day on Saturday June 14, what would have been her 30th birthday.

Fiona said: “Victoria had taken up baking in the last year of her life and it gave her huge pleasure creating cakes and sharing them with family and friends. So we are asking people to help fulfil Victoria’s dream, a dream we all have, and bake a cake and share it with family, friends and colleagues.”

Businesses, retail outlets, cafés and restaurants are also being urged to raise funds by serving Victoria Sponge Cake to customers and staff, in canteens and staff rooms and making a donation to the charity.

“Every penny of every pound raised will be used both for cancer research and to directly help those suffering from aggressive forms of cancer,” added Fiona, 59, who survived her own cancer scare aged 38.

Victoria, a make-up artist and who grew up in Winchfield and went to Robert May’s School in Odiham, was first affected by cancer aged nine when her grandmother Patty Irvin died of the disease.

Three months later Fiona was struck with bowel cancer but fortunately fought and won her battle.

She said: “Victoria’s driving desire throughout her fight with cancer was to beat the disease and live to spend time with her husband and raise a family. She wanted to use her positivity and energy to find a way to help support others through their battle with cancer. That was her promise.”

Speaking about his sister’s wedding, Alexander said: “It was a grand and beautiful service, everything my sister had dreamed of and everything I had ever hoped Vicki would haved.”

Just over a month later he was back for his father’s funeral service.

“I said goodbye to a wonderful man, dad and friend," said Alexander. I then took a seat and watched my sister deliver a beautiful, heartfelt poem that she had written, leaving her with bittersweet memories of the alter I stand before now. Marrying one man she loved only to lose another so soon after.”

Alexander said the third time he stood in the church was barely a year later for Victoria’s funeral.

“She battled with such grace, courage and vigour but devastatingly it was not a battle that could be won.”

To make a donation to the Victoria Sponge Bake Day text VPSB01 with your chosen amount to 70070.

 

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