Heide Middleton and Sarah Jane Clarke are not only the founders of the highly successful Australian fashion label Sass and Bide, they have also lent their highly credible names to improving survival outcomes for sarcoma patients, with their fundraising and awareness initiatives.
It was while Heidi Middleton was staging her own battle with breast cancer, that her friend Kate Boyson was also staging a valiant battle with a Ewings Sarcoma diagnosis. Ewings Sarcoma is a highly aggressive and rare form of primary bone cancer.
Kate passed away in October of 2007, five months after her diagnosis, leaving behind her husband Marcus who now chairs Rainbows for Kate, the Foundation that proudly her name. Kate and Marcus also had two young children. Heidi was understandably devastated by the tragic and unnecessary loss of her friend at the age of 32.
Sass and Bide presented a tribute to Kate at New York Fashion Week, 2008, titled ‘Rainbows for Kate’ . This collection was inspired by a bracelet Heidi made for Kate, which contained coloured beads representative of different emotions, which today forms the basis of the Foundation logo. When addressing those at the Sass and Bide show, Heidi’s poignant words remain a strong reminder of all the qualities she admired and missed in her beautiful friend Kate Boyson.
“My beautiful friend, tonight we celebrate your incredible spirit… your unbelievable courage, your shining heart…your ‘light any room’ smile…you burst into my life like a beautiful rainbow…”
This story is a powerful reminder that sarcoma, like most cancer, does not discriminate. It can affect all ages, despite disproportionately affecting young people. Kate’s story, put simply, is heartbreaking.
Kate’s story also serves to remind us of the strength of the human spirit. Her husband Marcus, their children, and her dear friend Heidi Middleton, all worked through their unspeakable grief, to help spare others from traveling the same road.
The highly successful Rainbows For Kate, (RFK) funds ‘critical research that will bring hope, time and more treatment options to those diagnosed with Sarcoma cancers.’
RFK has contributed more than a million dollars to sarcoma research, and last Saturday night marked their ten -year milestone at The Swifts, Darling Point. We are in awe of what this Foundation has achieved over a decade, for sarcoma research, and ‘grass roots’ awareness, and their outstanding resilience.
Please go to the website www.rainbowsforkate.com.au to donate or press the link below