SURREY - Within days of losing their mother to cancer, Mandeep Gill and her siblings Jag and Manpreet knew they wanted to honour her in some way.
"At her funeral we announced that we would be doing something in memory of her, we just hadn't decided what that would be yet," said daughter Mandeep, who lives in Surrey.
Sarabjit Gill passed away on April 25, 2011 from an aggressive cancer that spread through her abdomen.
"Unfortunately, the cancer was so aggressive and had spread so far that there were no treatment options," said Mandeep.
Her mother passed away just two and a half weeks after being diagnosed.
Shortly after her death, the siblings decided to set up the Sarabjit Gill Memorial Fund, to benefit the BC Cancer Foundation. The funds will go towards cancer research.
"It was obviously a devastating time for us," Mandeep recalled, but added she and her siblings wanted to do something their mother would have been proud of.
Mandeep said her mother was known for her giving nature, and this is the family's way of carrying on her legacy.
"The most important thing she taught us was to be good people and to be giving. In a way, we wanted to help other people because we couldn't help her."
The siblings donated $15,000 to kick off the fund, and then put the word out to family and friends that they were fundraising.
Within a few months, they met their $50,000 goal.
They extended their goal to $75,000, which, through donations from family and friends, Mandeep expected to meet by the end of the day Wednesday - the one-year anniversary of Sarabjit's death.
"It is our hope that a cure for this terrible disease will be found and that no family has to suffer the untimely loss of a loved one," Mandeep said.
Doug Nelson, president and CEO of BC Cancer Foundation, said the family's fundraising efforts will have a significant impact on future research and cancer care in the province.
"I'm truly humbled by the community's caring support for the Gill family and their efforts to honour Sarabjit," Nelson said.
The public is invited to donate to the fund at bccancerfoundation.com/sarabjitgill.
Depending on public response, the siblings may extend their goal to $100,000.
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