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Those who knew Eilidh McHugh well would describe her as an exceptional young woman. Simply a star: beautiful, gifted, vibrant, loving and full of courage. She devoted energy and time to developing her wide range of talents with a particular purpose in mind - she wanted to give of her best in improving the lives of others. She studied hard at school, making it cool to be clever, and through intelligence and determination, she was made Dux in her Sixth Year at Holy Cross High School. She then proceeded to study Pharmacy at The University of Strathclyde, working diligently, carefully balancing coursework with time for fun with family and friends, and channelling some of her boundless energy into athletics, where she showed considerable promise. In 2016, she graduated with a First Class Honours Degree with Distinction. Her Graduation Day was the happiest day of her life, and one of the proudest for mum, Elaine, dad, Mick, and sister, Kerry.
Eilidh radiated warmth, kindness and vitality. She was always smiling, always saw the best in others, always tried to do the right thing. She was thoughtful and kind, too, yet full of fun and generous of her time with family and friends. Her special gift was making you feel that you were the most important person in the world. When Eilidh laughed - which she often did - the world was a happy place. And her character, her inquisitive spirit, her irrepressible personality, made Eilidh very, very special to all who knew her.
Then, in 2017, on the threshold of her dream career as a pharmacist, Eilidh died, aged 22, of a rare, aggressive, incurable cancer. Inspirational to the end, Eilidh made her final, tragic journey with dignity and courage.
But her memory lives on, and her determination to help others endures. Eilidh’s name means “Light”, and her light is her legacy, as “Stars shine far beyond their span, to touch lives in their dark.”
Eilidh’s light continues to shine: the love of her family and friends ensures that Eilidh’s memory and legacy will not die.
Together with The University of Strathclyde they have created the Eilidh McHugh Scholarship. By raising funds in Eilidh’s name, they have already endowed over 20 scholarships that are awarded in order to remove financial burden from aspiring young people who otherwise might not be able to afford to study at university.
In addition, The McHughs have established an Eilidh McHugh Tribute Fund in partnership with Beatson Cancer Charity. Enlisting the support of friends, the family have embarked on a wide range of fundraising activities and events including 10k runs, a 3 Peaks Challenge, Skydives and Head Shaves, Marathon Bike Rides, Concerts and Kiltwalks, Coffee Mornings, Ladies’ Lunches and Tartan and Tiara Balls. Each and every event has been outstanding, raising incredible sums of money to benefit patients and families living in the shadow of cancer.
Although Eilidh’s life was cut tragically short, her legacy of helping others will stretch long into the future. This new website, including the unique online support space My Light, exists because of the funds raised in tribute to an exceptional young woman, who sought to devote herself to bringing light to lives visited by darkness. Working with The McHugh family, Beatson Cancer Charity has created this website to give those affected by cancer the support, advice and relevant information to feel better, stronger and more informed.