Son to take on charity challenge in memory of mum Debbie 'Fongs' Horabin
- Credit: Kalvin Horabin
The son of a Royston tattoo artist who sadly passed away aged just 56 is set to weave his way through a month-long charity challenge in her memory.
Kalvin Tauch-Horabin's mum Debbie - also known as 'Fongs' - ran Armadillo Ink tattoo studio. She passed away in December 2020 from lung cancer.
Kalvin said: "It was a monumental blow to me as she was and still is my entire world!
"When me and my mum last spoke, I made a pledge to her that I would do anything I could in my life to help fight against cancer, raise awareness and funding so that we can try and change the future of cancer care, and maybe even find a cure.
"I lost my dad at 11, my stepdad at 20 and then sadly two best friends and my mum in 2020, so I am no stranger to grief. But, being able to help others keeps me going."
Throughout March, Kalvin is going to crochet a huge blanket - that he will work on every day, predicting it should end up "the size of a king sized bed".
He is asking people to donate £5 and at the end of the month, all the names of those who donated will be entered into a prize draw to win his unique creation.
"Mum adored colour, textiles and all things bohemian, so this blanket is going to be a reflection of both hers and my own creativity," said Kalvin - who started crocheting during the first lockdown when he was taking care of his mum.
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"I've aptly named this blanket the Fongy Blanket. We would sit up until the early hours, crocheting together and sharing memories.
"It did a lot for my mental health, as well as helping me deal with the knowledge that she was so poorly.
"Now, my last memories of mum aren't sad. They're of us sat up together, laughing, crying, drinking coffee and crocheting weird and wonderful things!
"All monies raised from the fundraiser will be donated to Marie Curie, a charity instrumental in the care of people with terminal cancer and other terminal illnesses and supporting their families.
"Services like Marie Curie are always in need of fundraising - and I can't imagine services like that not being around.
"They are crucial to us and I will spend the rest of my life fundraising and raising awareness for them and other cancer charities. I owe it to my mum and to all those who we have lost to this awful disease.
"I wouldn't wish the pain on my worst enemy, so this is my way of helping the cause."
Debbie was hugely popular in Royston, and she had many friends in the area. She opened Armadillo Ink in 2010 - and her studio chair came to be more of a 'therapy session' for those who she tattooed.
Her artistic streak developed when she got her degree in fine art in Manchester. And she then went on to have a big interest in pottery and textiles.
She completed an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist and worked for 10 years in Cambridge and 10 years in Royston. Armadillo Ink first opened in Bassingbourn in 2010, before moving to its current location in Kneesworth Street.
Kalvin has told the Crow how he has been since her tragic passing.
"Since I lost mum, I have been laying low, healing and taking time out for myself," he said.
"I speak to my grandma on Facetime every day without fail, as she lives in the northwest of England, and not just around the corner.
"She's absolutely my best friend. She's 80 now and full of life - she also only looks about 50 years old, so I'm hoping those genes rub off on me!
"I would be lost without my grandma and my husband. They make me whole and I adore them both so much. The impact that mum had on the community was far bigger than I'd expected.
"She would have been gobsmacked at the amount of people who mean well and who have reached out to offer support."
Kalvin's 'crochetathon' fundraiser starts on March 1, and will run for the entire month - before a lucky winner will be chosen at random to win the blanket.
Go to Kalvin's fundraising page to donate at - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fongycrochet and for more on Marie Curie go to their website at https://www.mariecurie.org.uk.