'That's my mommy': Sarah Turpin's daughter, 3, designs Christmas card
Set of greeting cards to raise money for Young Adult Cancer Canada in Turpin's honour
Rowan Turpin-Russell is only three-years-old, but she is one of 10 artists who designed a series of Christmas cards in memory of her mom, Sarah, who died days after being diagnosed with cancer.
"That's my mommy," said Rowan as she showed off her design on Wednesday.
Her card has a Christmas tree, with a woman standing beside it — a woman Rowan remembers being with her dad.
"It's all about mommy, when we were at Christmas. It came out kind of funny ... I still like it."
Sarah Turpin died Oct. 3, 2014, days after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that her family suspected was related to a miscarriage earlier in the year.
Now, for the second year in a row, family and friends are organizing a Christmas card project in her name.
We just don't want her to go silently. We'd like to keep her memory alive.- Jennah Turpin
"We just don't want her to go silently. We'd like to keep her memory alive as much as we can," said Sarah's sister, Jennah Turpin.
The set includes 10 greeting cards created by St. John's artists, including Rowan.
Some have Christmas images while others can be used year-round. The proceeds will go to Young Adult Cancer Canada.
"We chose that organization because we felt it was pretty fitting," said Jennah Turpin.
"Although Sarah didn't get to be a young adult with cancer very long ... it was a really good fit. It helps people my sister's age who have cancer with their struggles."
Tragedy struck a chord
Friend Hillary Winter, the owner of Gallery 24, helped organize the project in 2014. Proceeds that year went towards an education fund for Turpin's three young children.
"There's no real words to describe how hopeless and helpless we feel," said Winter. "We wanted to find a way to reduce the pain."
More than $18,000 was raised through the sale of the cards last year. The goal was $1,000.
"The tragedy just struck a chord with so many people," said Winter.
"It feels good to be able to help a little bit but it was just overwhelming how much the story touched the community, I think that was the biggest takeaway."
Jennah Turpin said her neice and nephews are doing well.
Rowan's twin brothers, Ellis and Grant, were rushed to hospital with respiratory problems shortly after their mother's death, making last year's Christmas seem like a blur.
"It was just a sad, sad basic Christmas. We were missing her the whole time."
This year, she said, will be better, and the family is focusing on the children.
"Sarah had such a vision for her children. She didn't want just babies ... She wanted them to be well-rounded, socially aware. That's a lot of responsibility to carry that torch on."
A Sarah Turpin Memorial Fund has been set up to manage the money raised through the sale of the cards.
With files from Meghan McCabe