A GoFundMe effort has been started for a Rossland woman who lost her husband and extended family in an earthquake that devastated parts of Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6.
Cheryl Forest’s husband, Midrap, and 24 members of her extended family have died in the quake. All were at an engagement party in an apartment building that collapsed in Adiyaman, Turkey.
“They have suffered a tremendous loss that no family should ever have to experience,” wrote friend Chantelle Drouin, who started the fundraiser.
According to the Turkish Emergency Coordination Center SAKOM, more than 33,000 people have died across Turkey and Syria since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck on Monday, with tens of thousands more left injured and homeless.
Forest currently lives in Rossland with her three children, sons Elias and Omar and daughter Mary Zozan.
“I am reaching out to our communities looking for support for Cheryl to be able to stay home with her children and not have to worry about financial stress as she has been living on a single income in Canada,” said Drouin. “Cheryl and her children will need to travel back to Turkey when it is deemed safe to be able to support their family and manage the losses that have taken place.”
Forest was born and raised in the West Kootenay, met her husband here, and then moved to his home country of Turkey for 13 years. She worked as a school teacher, teaching English and raised her three children in Turkey.
Five years ago, after surviving an attempted coup, Forest returned with her children to Rossland in an effort to give them a better life, in a safer environment. Her husband stayed to care for their extended family.
“Cheryl is one of the kindest, and most hard-working individuals that I have had the pleasure of knowing and her dedication to helping families and children in our area is endless, and I would love to see that support come back to her,” added Drouin.
To support the family, go online to ‘Asking for help for Rossland family loss and travel’ at gofundme.com.