Sophie Obermajer-Navratil, 26, lost her close friend Fiona Wackett to epilepsy in August 2008 and has been fundraising tirelessly for Epilepsy Research UK ever since.
Fundraisers spearheaded by Sophie and friends and family have included the creation of Fi’s own cocktail Heaven Sent in November 2008 at the Lavish Lounge in Weybridge, and a 5K run in Epsom.
In August 2009 Sophie organised a charity ball at Mercedes-Benz World, in Weybridge, which was attended by 165 supporters. They were treated to a welcoming drink of Heaven Sent, a four course meal with live entertainment, an auction, tombola and a wishing tree.
Sophie said: “It was a fantastic night for all the family and friends and we were amazed by the generosity of the communities and businesses including Lavish Lounge, Mercedes Benz, Gordons School and many more within Surrey for their generous donations of prizes.”
Supporters have also run the London Marathon, Toronto Marathon, Great North Run, Bupa London 10,000 and the British 10K London Run raising significant amounts for Epilepsy Research UK.
Fi was living in Addlestone, with her partner of seven years, William Burke, when she died aged 27 following an epileptic seizure. Born in Chobham, she attended Priors Field School and went on to Southampton University to study fine art and antiques. After graduating she went on to work with her parents in their jewellery shop Boshers, in High Street, Chobham.
Sophie has worked tirelessly over the year, and hasn’t worked for the last five months as she concentrates on fund-raising and creating awareness for such an “untalked about disease.” She even lobbied parliament with the charity.
She added: “I have written to Weybridge and Runnymede MP, Philip Hammond, and I am hoping to continue this work for good and eventually hope to work alongside schools, colleges and councils to educate children and adults about epilepsy.”