Community rallies to support kids of murdered Rocky mum
THE FAMILY of Karen Gilliland have today appealed for public support as the Rockhampton woman's three young children adjust to life without their beloved mother.
Mrs Gilliland's brother Bryan Cranston this morning launched a Go Fund Me page to help raise funds to help care for Saul, 14, Lara, 11 and Jade, 6.
The children are now in the primary care of their maternal grandparents.
In a statement posted to the online donations page, Mr Cranston admitted the decision to fundraise had been a difficult, albeit necessary one for the family to make.
"Karen loved these children more than anything in this world. Our hearts break as we think of the journey ahead for them, navigating life without their amazing mother."
"We are a very private family - Karen was especially so - and setting up a public fundraiser like this sits very uneasily with us, but we have decided to do it in the interests of Karen's three wonderful children."
He said that while devastated at the loss of his sister, he hoped the tragedy encouraged more people in need to ask for support.
Mr Cranston further reflected on the Rockhampton Base Hospital worker's lifelong desire to become a mother, revealing she first suffered heartbreak at the tragic death of her newborn son Thomas in 2004 due to a number of serious birth issues.
She then went on to miscarry twins, he revealed, adding loved ones feared she may never be able to bear the children she so desperately craved.
"Then, in 2006 her son Saul arrived, and he was followed by Lara two years later and Jade in 2014. They are three truly amazing children who excel academically and in sporting endeavours,"
"This year, both Saul and Lara won gold medals at the Australian national karate championships, while Jade loves playing with makeup."
"All three have inherited Karen's love of reading and read books at every opportunity," Mr Cranston wrote.
His sister's children, he said, remain the family's sole priority as they come to grips with the devastating loss.
"They are safe in the loving arms of our family and we will do everything we can to give them the guidance and support that Karen would have wanted. Any money raised here will be used solely for them."
As of 11am, the Go Fund Me sits are over $10,000 of its $30,000 target.
To donate, visit 'Karen Gilliland's children and their future' page.