After a brave four year struggle with metastatic breast cancer my beloved mother Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano passed away this month.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and I was blessed to be with her during her final hours.
Photograph taken 3 months after her initial diagnosis
Words fail me as I cannot praise the Macmillan secondary breast nurse specialists Bethan Daniels and Claire Gaskell, oncologists and staff at The Christie, Manchester, St Bartholomew's, The Royal London and Whipps Cross enough who diligently cared for Mum during her most difficult days and treated her with the utmost dignity and respect.
Despite all the treatments and endless hospital appointments Mum never once complained about her illness and was always smiling.
She was a keen gardener, phenomenal chef and enjoyed travelling. She devoted her entire life to support her three children achieve their ambitions.
She was my 'Angel' and a beautiful gentle soul. I miss her dearly.
Mum enjoying her visit to Anne Hathaway's garden
Mum was a pioneer in her own right and understood the importance of supporting fairtrade and disadvantaged producers.
Mum supporting my humble fairtrade stall JBR, Dubai - 2011
She was very excited to see my progress and view all the new fairtrade products I had recently sourced.
I can only hope that she would have been happy to know that I will continue to campaign for Fair Trade in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates and educate more of her peers in the United Kingdom.
As I end this message I would like to take this opportunity to say that I would whole heartedly encourage all my friends and family to support a cancer organisation or volunteer their time to visit a cancer patient.
Please do not be afraid to ask a cancer patient and their carers what assistance they require as often is the case they will feel embarrassed, proud or an inconvenience to ask.
Please do consider small acts of kindness for example driving a patient to their appointment, making their favourite meal or fulfilling a wish or an ambition of their choice.
These priceless gestures will make the world of difference to their recovery.
You will be rewarded tenfold.
I have attached my April 2016 Video Blog for you to view below.
Mums last visit to Dubai - February 2015
With much love and respect to other cancer patients and their families.
Meshar Mumtaz Bano at Edinburgh Castle - May 2014
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This December I was privileged and honoured to participate at the Swiss Business Council for the second time.
Many thanks to Ms Charoline Engel, Claudine and her team for organising another successful market.
It was lovely to finally meet the team from the Women's World Project, Manchester in association with The Pankhurst Centre.
I had a lovely afternoon meeting strong willed, ambitious, beautiful women.
During my visit to my home city of Manchester I attended the North West Regional Fair Trade Conference.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable intensive day and I was exhausted by its end and had to rest my poor shoulder.
Many thanks to Chrisi, Adam and the Fairtrade Foundation team for organising this event.
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