Relay for Life to honour Freddie
The life of a fundraiser and organiser for the Relay of Life is to be celebrated at a special event.
Fredricka “Freddie” Jabbar, who died in 2016, will be remembered in the Luminaria Ceremony, which will be held on May 17, the first day of the cancer research marathon.
Capri Wilson, Ms Jabbar’s daughter, said: “Relay For Life is a time where we celebrate our mom who was also a wonderful wife, supercool nana, and an amazing friend.”
Ms Wilson said the Luminaria Ceremony was the favourite part of the event for her mother, who was involved in the fundraiser for three years.
Ms Jabbar and Ceri Riihilouma, employees of Iron-Starr Excess Agency, now Liberty Specialty Markets Agency, the main sponsors for Relay for Life, spearheaded plans for the yearly relay.
Ms Wilson, who also works at Liberty Specialty Markets, said: “I am proud to say that we have continued this tradition.”
She said her mom and Ms Riihilouma spent a lot of time in the run-up to the relay on fundraising, marketing, and organisation of the company’s team.
Ms Wilson said the two women “would camp out all night ensuring that their tent maintained VIP status on the field”.
She added: “Relay for Life was one of mom’s favourite days of the year as she had the chance to celebrate unsung heroes and paid tribute to those who gracefully fought their battles.”
“She was such a ray of sunshine to everyone who came in contact with her. Most of all, she was an advocate for celebrating the lives of those fighting cancer.”
Ms Wilson said Ms Jabbar worked to raise funds for the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre event unaware she had developed the disease herself.
Stage four pancreatic cancer was diagnosed in July 2016, just months after her last relay.
Ms Wilson said the Luminaria Ceremony was a time of reflection and support.
She added: “For some, it is also a time to smile at the good times, and to remember and honour their loved ones.
“For me, I get to remember mom walking the track slowly, and stopping to remember her friends, family and loved ones who have fought cancer.
“She would laugh, and sometimes cry while looking at the memorabilia, but she always shared how grateful she was to know that person.
“I try to remember her heart as I participate in the Luminaria Ceremony — a heart full of gratitude, and to remember my loved ones and the blessing of their presence while they were here with us.”
Ms Wilson said her family got together and decorated the luminaria bags with pictures and crafts and shared fond memories of her mother. She said she had taken part in the Relay for Life since it began.
Ms Wilson added: “Each year it gets better and better. I look forward to participating again this year to celebrate our ‘Freddie’.”
Luminaria bags are available for sale at the PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd, sponsors of the Luminaria Ceremony.
Relay for Life will be held May 17 and 18 at the National Sports Centre in Devonshire.
• To register for the event, people should visit www.bermudarelay.com/register by April 30
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