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5 min read

‘Keeping our beautiful girl’s name alive’

Profile of Nicole Richards
Written by Nicole RichardsPosted on 30/4/2019

The Morgan Mansell Fund, the 300th sub-fund to be established at Australian Communities Foundation, is a fund that no parent would ever wish to set up: a memorial fund to honour the all-too-short life of their child.

Peter and Julie Mansell’s bright and vivacious 25-year old daughter, Morgan, passed away in October 2018 after a long and valiant battle against rare and complex health conditions.

“Morgan loved everything life had to offer, and she grasped every opportunity that was presented to her,” says Peter.

“She loved her family and friends and her cat Tigger. She loved travelling and managed to cram in so much in to her short 25 years.”

Morgan documented her health battles which included CTLA-4 protein deficiency, multiple sclerosis, common variable immunodeficiency and finally melanoma, on her Don’t MS with Morgs social media accounts.

“When she was taken ill, she still took great joy in continuing to help others right around the world with their own particular health issues via these forums,” Morgan’s mother, Julie explains.

“Just by accident, we recently came across an amazing, totally unsolicited tribute on YouTube by an actor in the USA who had been communicating with Morgan. We didn’t really understand how big an impact she’d had on people.”

By establishing the Fund, we are able to keep our beautiful girl’s name alive indefinitely

Knowing the positive impact Morgan had on the world is one of the things Julie and Peter say has helped them navigate their grief.

Establishing the Morgan Mansell Fund is another. The Fund is designed to raise funds and make annual grants that support research associated with Morgan’s health issues, particularly melanoma which remains the most common cancer in young Australians aged 15-39.

“By establishing the Fund, we are able to keep our beautiful girl’s name alive indefinitely,” Peter says.

“At the same time, we’re doing what we can to help prevent other parents from suffering what we have.”

The Mansells chose Australian Communities Foundation after researching the pros and cons of setting up a foundation and the ongoing costs and investment of time and energy.

“We originally wanted to set up the Morgan Mansell Foundation or Trust in her name, but were deterred by the setup and ongoing costs,” Peter explains.

“We conducted our own research and it became evident that a lot of our energy and fundraising would be consumed by just maintaining the foundation without actually being able to distribute meaningful funds to our causes.”

The Mansell’s solicitor recommended they explore a sub-fund model within a community foundation.

“We looked at the various community foundations and ACF was the one that appeared to most closely meet our needs. ACF was an economical option, without prohibitive annual fees.

“We’ll also be able to draw upon the expertise of ACF with our planned fundraising activities and they will enable us to undertake these fundraising activities in a manner that is completely above board and tax deductible.

“I would encourage anyone who is passionate about their cause to do their own research as to what is the best option for them. For us, ACF and the Morgan Mansell Fund appears to be a very nice fit.”