For Sarah's Kids

For: Peter Russell & The Kids
St John's, NL, Canada
Organizer: Melissa Cowl, The Doula Group
of $250,000 goal.
Raised by 1865 donors
53% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

To honour the life, wishes and dreams of Sarah Turpin and her family, we ask you to read below and help in any way you can.


Sarah Turpin's story touches the heart for so many.  She was a daughter, a granddaughter, a friend, a sister, a partner, a wife, a teacher, a doula and a mom.  She was quick witted, funny, bright and sparkled with every step.

The most important and happiest points in her life - besides her marriage to Peter - were the births of her children. They were her LIFE. Rowan Adventure Turpin Russell was born on December 31, 2011 and on January 20, 2013, Sarah and her husband welcomed twin boys, Ellis Peter and Grant Patrick. 

Her children were all under the age of three when she died on October 3, 2014 at the age of 32. 

Maggie Sullivan, who was best friends with Sarah since grade nine, fondly remembers her friend. "She had three beautiful babies that were her world. She used to refer to Rowan as her heart, and Grant and Ellis as her lungs, " said Sullivan. 

So it was a shock that within a week of feeling ill, Sarah was dead.


On a Friday in late September, Sarah was throwing up blood and was admitted to Carbonear General Hospital in Newfoundland. She was there for observation over the weekend, had several blood transfusions and seemed to be doing fine, but by Tuesday she was in ICU. On Wednesday, Sarah was sent to St. John's for chemotherapy treatment. She died three days later. 

Sarah had Choriocarcinoma, a very rare, very aggressive Cancer that occurs in a woman's uterus. The abnormal cells start in the tissue that would normally become the placenta. Sarah had a miscarriage and it's possible that the cells containing DNA from both Sarah and Peter just multiplied and attacked. Sarah was diagnosed at stage 4 on a Tuesday and died on the Friday of that same week.

At that time she was the only patient in Canada with this extremely rare and aggressive Cancer. Her oncologist was consulting with a specialist from London, England - where they have had only 37 cases in the past 30 years in the whole UK. They had never seen such a dramatic presentation of the Cancer cell and were amazed that it hadn't spread to her brain, but it was everywhere else.  She was witty and very conscious of treatments right up to her very quick death.


Sarah's husband Peter is now a single parent of three very young children with one income and a job that could have him traveling to many places across the province. This means significant childcare expense. Many families are more than willing to help (voluntarily) as often as they can manage. But for a single parent this is still a financially and logistically daunting task.

Sarah had great dreams for her children, growing, thriving and becoming great citizens of the world.  She would want her children to be cared for and nurtured by the best possible people.  She would want them to take part in gender neutral, non-competitive activities that would encourage their physical, creative and cognitive skills like art camps and swimming lessons. Raising healthy, secure, caring and active children was her highest priority.

We need to make this possible for her children, for her family - for Sarah.

Sarah gave so much to so many and now it is time for us to carry on her legacy of caring and giving. If this story has touched in you in any way, please consider donating today to help fund a bright and promising future for Sarah's three small children.

If you have already given to #FORSARAHSKIDS, THANK YOU. If you have not yet had a chance, we appreciate any amount you are able to donate. Every little bit helps us get closer to our goal. Please help us spread the word to people who would like to support Peter & the children.

Should you, or someone you know, wish to donate by cheque or EMT, please contact [email protected]  We will include your donation information on this site along with the people who donated online, unless you indicate that you wish to make an anonymous donation.

From all of our families to all of you - all the best for a healthy and peacefull 2015.

Melissa Cowl, Debra Bowser, Jordyn Martinez & The Doula Group
& The Turpin-Russell Families

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on January 21, 2015

Posted on January 21, 2015

Our fundraiser "officially" ends within the hour and we would like to take this opportunity, once again, to thank each one of you for your support, kindness and generosity.  Your stories, your offers and your beautiful words of encouragement have touched us all.

We will continue to spread the word and raise awareness for the signs and symptoms of choriocarcinoma, in Sarah's honour, so that this disease is not missed entirely or misdiagnosed, as we have now heard, has happened with so many others.

We continue to push for blood donations and will be more vigilant ourselves in going regularly, it makes a difference.

We wish you and yours a very happy and healthy 2015.  

Debra Bowser & Mélissa Cowl

on behalf of 
The Turpin-Russell Families

Posted on January 13, 2015

Posted on January 13, 2015

Dear Friends,

We have one week left to
raise the roof on understanding the signs and symptoms for #choriocarcinoma(#pregancyrelated #cancer).  Recognizing the path this insidious disease can take and putting the puzzle pieces together is a key to early treatment and a cure.  Please find us on facebook our twitter and share/retweet the infographic to your contacts -

There are ongoing fundraising efforts #ForSarahsKids through this site and also through events across the country.  Contact us for more details should you wish to host an event in the coming weeks or months.

With many thanks,

Melissa Cowl & Debra Bowser
The Doula Group

Posted on January 7, 2015

Posted on January 7, 2015

Thank you, once again, to all our friends and supporters.  We wish you all the very best for 2015.

We have just 13 days left in our fund raising project #ForSarahsKids.  Please consider sharing the link one more time on your social media outlets to help us get the word out about helping this beautiful family.  

Let's get more people understanding the signs and symptoms of choriocarcinoma and reminding people of the need for blood donors.  Please feel free to hashtag #ForSarahsKids and let us know if we can help your efforts in any way.

Melissa Cowl, The Doula Group

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