Aussie mum dies on Hawaiian 'trip of a lifetime' with daughters: 'Devastating'

Stacey Foley was in Hawaii with her daughters for a cheerleading competition.

A Queensland mum has died suddenly in Hawaii on a trip with her daughters who were due to compete in a cheerleading competition in the US state.

Stacey Foley from the Gold Coast was "on a trip of a lifetime" with her two girls Caitlin, 23, and Sierra, 12, but it "ended in tragedy", leaving her daughters to journey home without their mum.

Members of the girls' cheerleading squad ZACS Allstars shared the news in a social media post on Tuesday and praised the girls for having the courage to continue to compete.

"We are incredibly proud of the bravery and resilience her two daughters Caitlin and Sierra have shown by still hitting the competition floor and performing as they believe this would have made her proud," the ZACS post said.

Queensland woman Stacey Foley and her daughters in Hawaii.
Stacey Foley died suddenly while on holiday in Hawaii with her daughters. Source: Facebook

ZACS owner Rachel White said she learned the tragic news at 4am on Friday. “She was not unwell at all, it was totally sudden and seems still surreal”, she told Yahoo News.

She said all she knows is Ms Foley had trouble breathing during the night, but is waiting to learn of the cause of death. The girls' father rushed to Hawaii to be with them.

"The girls have been amazing as they have had their team around them for absolute support," she said. "I think that is what has helped them be strong."

Desperate plea to bring mum's body home

The cheerleading community is raising money to help bring Stacey's body home. More than $24,000 has so far been raised for the family via a GoFundMe campaign.

Stacey and her daughters travelled to Hawaii so they could compete in the Dance and Cheer Global Games with their cheerleading teams in Waikiki. Ms White said cheer and dance have been a "huge part" of this family's life for a "really long time".

"Imagine coming on this trip of a lifetime and one they had planned and worked towards for so long only to now be returning home without their mum," she wrote on the fundraiser. "It is not only expensive, but also traumatic organising and paying for your mum to come home with you to Australia, especially when the girls are so young."

Community 'devastated' by tragic news

The broader cheerleading community has offered words of support for the grieving girls, with the Australian All Star Cheerleading Federation and Australian Cheer Union among the groups to plead for donations on Facebook.

"It's times like these when the cheer community bands together to show love and support to our own," said a post from Electrix Cheersport. Millennium Allstar Cheerleading, based in Slacks Creek in Queensland, said "no child should ever have to experience" a tragedy such as this.

People who knew Stacey commented on the Allstars' Facebook post, many admitting the news was "devastating". "This is an awful tragedy, our thoughts are with the girls and family," said one. "Oh my word my heart breaks for you Caitlin and Sierra. Sending support and love to you all," wrote another.

Yahoo News Australia has contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for comment.

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