“I’m so proud that our children understand the importance of places like St Barnabas.”

Jackie Fisher was diagnosed out of the blue with brain cancer in June 2018. After receiving care both at home and in our Hospice, she sadly died in November 2018, age 67.

Jackie’s grandchildren, Dylan and Anna, have raised around £1,250 for St Barnabas through running the Colour Dash and organising a variety of their own fundraising events. Jackie’s daughter, Helen, has chosen to share her hospice care story and talk about the fundraising the family has done since.

Dylan and Anna

Helen said:

“Mum received fantastic care both at home and in the Hospice. We will never forget the care and dignity she received, nor the support given to our family during such a horrendous time. We will always support the Hospice and are proud that the children really do understand the importance of places like St Barnabas.

“Dylan, my son, and Anna, my niece, both spent time at the Hospice with their granny. They were able to read to her, paint her nails and talk to her. They, along with my younger sons aged four and one, were always so welcomed by the staff. This gave us valuable time as a family to be together. As ill as Mum was, she always knew when they were there.

“The children understand that sometimes people are too poorly to recover, and that’s when places like St Barnabas are so important. Being able to have some normality, such as Anna sitting and painting Mum’s nails, softened the harsh reality of how poorly she was for the children.

“Those are the things they will remember. They were able to see the wonderful care Granny received and were always comfortable visiting as it is such a relaxed environment.

“Although our lives have been turned upside down and our loss is so enormous, we really are so grateful to St Barnabas for everything that was done for Mum. I just don’t know how we would have coped without the Hospice.

Dylan and St Barnabas representative“The children felt they wanted to give something back to the Hospice after the care their granny received, which is why they decided to do so many fundraising events.

“Back in December, Dylan held a Christmas tombola, raising around £170. Dylan and Anna have also held an Easter event which raised £500. This event was just on our driveway in Woodhall Spa, where they did a raffle, hook-a-duck, lucky dip and cake stall. There are already plans in place for next year’s Easter fundraiser!

“We are so proud of what they are doing for St Barnabas Hospice and as a family we’d like to thank everyone involved in the care and support of both Mum and our family.”

St Barnabas Hospice provides free care to people across Lincolnshire living with a life-limiting or terminal illness and their families and carers. To find out more about the different ways we can help, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk.

“There are not enough words to describe the care; it was phenomenal”

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for buying St Barnabas raffle tickets each year. The money raised will help people like me attend regular coffee mornings to help relieve anxiety at such a difficult time.”

“When Helen and I started going to the coffee mornings there was an immediate, fantastic bond between everyone. There are two therapy dogs that come in every Tuesday and put a huge smile on people’s faces. They’re so friendly and people-orientated. I still come back to the coffee mornings now that Helen is gone because I enjoy the company so much and I think I can possibly give something back to the Hospice.

“My beautiful wife, Helen, was diagnosed in 2014 with stage four lung cancer which had spread to her neck, collarbone and both lungs. She was treated with chemotherapy for four years until last summer when she asked if she could stop the treatment. She had just had enough. Immediately Helen got a quality of life back but the cancer spread to her brain in January 2019 and she died very quickly after that at the St Barnabas Inpatient Unit in Lincoln.

“There are not enough words to describe the care; it was phenomenal during the four-and-a-half weeks Helen was in the Hospice. It wasn’t just care for her; it was care for me, for the whole family and for our friends who came up.

“The staff at the Hospice were just brilliant; not just the nurses and doctors but also the volunteers, the cooks, everybody. The first thing they got us was a blue badge. Such a small thing really made all the difference because Helen couldn’t walk very well, one of her lungs had collapsed and she had no breath.

“A special memory to me was on my birthday, three days before Helen died. Helen was quite agitated during a visit and my daughter and I completely broke down to the nurses as we left. Every single nurse came out and we had a group hug for about ten minutes. Everybody was so genuine about it and that was just so moving. I’ll always remember it.

“Helen and I were married for 42 years and she taught me three big things in life. She taught me generosity, she taught me kindness and she taught me how to have fun. Six months ago she said to me “I don’t mind if I die, we’ve had such a brilliant life.” She was great and I’m going to miss her like crazy. I do miss her like crazy.

“If I could spend one more day with my beautiful wife, I think I’d just stay sat down with her, hold her hand and just look into her eyes.”

If you would like to purchase some raffle tickets to help more families like Alan and Helen, please call our Lottery office on 01522 546 500. Tickets are £1 each or £20 for a book, and the first prize is an incredible £3,000.

Eddie’s Story

From September 27th until October 7th, Eddie Suich will be taking on the incredible challenge of hiking Mount Kilimanjaro!

Eddie is climbing in support of St Barnabas because we are currently caring for his Dad who has been diagnosed with Dementia.

Here is Eddie’s story:

“My Dad means a great deal to me and has played a huge part in my upbringing and shaping me to the person I am trying to be today. A kind, funny, hard-working and family-orientated man who has always had other people’s well-being above his own whether this has been his family or his customers and colleagues at work.

These are just a few of the aspects I feel I have learnt and try to demonstrate in life from him. And on a lesser note I also have him to thank for the daily frustrations of being an Arsenal fan.

Having survived a heart attack a number of years ago, my Dad and our family had the extremely difficult news around 4.5 years ago that he was suffering from dementia at the young age of just 63 years old. He had initially been suffering from amnesia for a few years before this at just 60 years old.

A few years on and my Dad’s memory worsens and he is more reliant on my Mum and those of us around him unable to truly enjoy his retirement in what should be his best years of freedom and life. Seeing this disease first-hand has been heart-breaking and extremely difficult for our family and friends to adapt to, especially losing the ability to confide and communicate fully with the person who truly inspires me and means the most to me in my life.

In short, it is a cruel and unfair disease I wouldn’t wish upon anybody but certainly not somebody as good-hearted and genuine as my Dad.

My Dad has always been a hugely positive impact on me – probably a lot more so than he understands. This whole situation has truly made me realise that you never know what is around the corner and you have to make the most of the time you are given, just like my Dad certainly has and continues to do so with the support of my Mum.

Personally, I have always wanted to embrace challenges and hiking Kilimanjaro has been on the bucket list as I know it will be a really physical challenge for me. However, if I can do this and raise some money alongside it for a local charity’s dementia arm that helps people like my Dad and their families in Lincolnshire through these difficult times then that will push me that extra step for sure.

Whilst this horrible disease is truly devastating at times I want to ensure the positive side of this story remains to be seen – my Dad has a huge legacy behind him and has truly made the most of every day he has had through his job, his family and his love for football, travel and challenges. Maybe I wouldn’t be crazy enough to commit to these sort of things without the upbringing and positive pushing he has given me! Any support to help the dementia arm of the St Barnabas Hospice in Lincolnshire would mean a huge amount to people like my Dad and family so any donations would be greatly appreciated. I guess then I need to actually conquer a mountain!”

Support Eddie’s Mount Kilimanjaro hike here:www.justgiving.com/fundraising/eddie-suich-kilimanjaro

Mighty Mudder: Jane’s Story

Jane Montague, Director of Majestic Publications, is raising money  for St Barnabas when she runs the Hospice’s Mighty Mudder mud run, which takes place on Sunday 22nd September at Ancaster Leisure near Grantham.

Jane and her son Ben are running in memory of her Dad and in support of hospice care.

Jane has been a supporter of the hospice movement for over twenty years. She is the director of Majestic Publications, an organisation that provides free publications for hospices and charities nationwide.

Jane said:

“Hospices are the most special of places. The reason that we started Majestic Publications was because my darling Dad, Bob Manifold, died after a short battle with a cancerous brain tumour in December 1997 at the age of 59. He had been a fit and healthy man and the life and soul of any gathering.

His loss completely devastated us as a family but we were buoyed up and supported by our local hospice in Chester who were amazing. The pain that comes from losing someone you love can never be diminished but our local hospice helped us to feel that we weren’t on our own.”

In addition, Jane takes on incredible challenges to show her support to the Hospices that Majestic Publications supply to.

Jane said:

“As soon as someone says that there’s no way I could undertake something, I go out of my way to prove them wrong. This has resulted in me running about six 10ks, a sprint triathlon, Morecombe Bay Walk, flying through the air on the longest zip wire in Europe, taking part in the Dragon Boat Race (last year dressed as a chicken!), abseiling down the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and even the challenge of giving up alcohol for a month!

“I am by no means an athlete but it’s amazing what a bit of determination can achieve.”

Jane’s next challenge will be the Mighty Mudder: a new addition to the St Barnabas events calendar featuring a 5K route at Ancaster Leisure including over 50 muddy obstacles.

Jane said: “Something that was instilled in me when I was growing up was that you always need to give back. In turn this is something that I’ve tried to bring my son, Ben, up to understand and carry through.”

“We’re also looking forward to a bit of quality mother and son time, although I think Ben is hoping that I’ll be so out of breath that it will stop me nagging him about tidying his room!”

New for this event, St Barnabas has decided to offer two different types of tickets. Participants wanting to raise money for the Hospice will be able to pay a lower registration fee of £25, providing they pledge a minimum sponsorship of £50. Alternatively, participants can pay a £55 registration fee if they decide not to raise sponsorship money. These are early bird prices and will be available for a limited time until Sunday 28th July.

Children aged 14-17 can also take part for a flat rate of £10 and are encouraged to raise as much money as they are able. The Hospice does ask that there is one adult per two children when signing up.

Early bird tickets are now on sale for this exciting new event. To sign up or view more information, visit the event page. 

“My life changed that winter. You became our angels.”

On 11th September 2018, Hilary Horn from Holbeach was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Three weeks later she was told it was terminal and she sadly died on 9th November 2018, age 62.

Hilary’s daughter, Alison, has chosen to share her memories of the time Hilary spent in our care. Alison said:

“Mum was in Boston Pilgrim Hospital but decided in the October that she wanted to come home to be with my dad for a few days, before choosing Holbeach Hospital as the place she wished to die. However, after a few days at home we realised we could manage with the help of St Barnabas Hospice.

“Nurses from St Barnabas came to the house daily to change Mum’s clothes, sheets and also look after Dad. My life changed that winter, you became our angels. “I had never heard of St Barnabas before but I now support them as my chosen charity.”

Hilary was able to spend three-and-a-half weeks at home with her family and every day St Barnabas nurses were able to come in and help ease the pressure. Because of St Barnabas, Hilary was also able to die peacefully in her own home. Alison said:

“I have so many memories of the nurses who came. There were endless cups of tea and their presence meant we could leave the house briefly, knowing Mum was in safe hands. I remember asking questions that could only be answered with a hug and another cuppa. The help we received meant so much to our family.”

St Barnabas Hospice provides free care to people across Lincolnshire living with a life-limiting or terminal illness and their families and carers. To find out more about the different ways we can help, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk

Dog walkers encouraged at this year’s Moonlight Walk Stamford

St Barnabas Hospice is welcoming dog walkers to this year’s Moonlight Walk Stamford in September.

Taking place on Saturday 14th September, the second Moonlight Walk Stamford hosted by St Barnabas Hospice is welcoming both humans and dogs to walk in memory of loved ones. The Moonlight Walk Stamford will begin at Borderville Sports Centre, with doors opening to the public at 7.30pm.

Reggie the Cockerpoo took part in the Moonlight Walk Lincoln earlier this year with his owner, Debbie, who he really helped through a difficult time. Debbie’s husband, Richard Braunton, was diagnosed with stage four Frontal Lobe Glioblastoma in January 2017 and sadly died in March 2018, age 49. Debbie said:

“We initially thought St Barnabas was just somewhere you go to die. Little did we know what amazing support, care and activities they offer to both patients and their families and carers.

“Whilst he was able, Rich went to do Tai Chi at the Lincoln Day Therapy Centre. Although sometimes he struggled, we still managed to get him there just to chat to someone outside of family and friends. We also had lunches there with family which was lovely.

“As Rich became more poorly, he was admitted for respite care to the Hospice, where he was so well looked after.”

Debbie also received a lot of free support from St Barnabas, both during and after Richard’s illness. Debbie said:

“I was given a course of reflexology as a way to relax. This was lovely and a great way to unwind for an hour to myself.

“After Rich died, I decided, in the end, to go to the counselling group which was really beneficial. Overall, St Barnabas staff and volunteers were truly supportive for me and our family at such a difficult time.”

“St Barnabas offers such varied support and is a sanctuary to go to talk and show emotions which I didn’t want to show my family as I felt I had to be strong for them.

“Although they have volunteers, they are a charity and as such, need money to continue to offer support to other families in similar circumstances to my own.

“In life, we never know what lies ahead of us and we never think that tragedy could strike so early. To know that St Barnabas is there to be our backbone in these circumstances is a massive thing and I would urge everyone to support the Hospice. I never imagined I would be in this position.”

Louise Cotton, Events Fundraiser for St Barnabas Hospice, said:

“Debbie’s story has moved us all at St Barnabas and it’s lovely to know that Reggie was able to help her through such a difficult time. We look forward to meeting lots of dogs like Reggie at this year’s Moonlight Walk Stamford, but there are a couple of rules.

“Please make sure dogs are kept on non-retractable leads, they must be friendly and sociable with people and with other dogs.”

It’s not too late to sign up to this year’s Moonlight Walk Stamford. People aged 11+ can sign up at www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/moonlight-walk-stamford-2019. If you sign up before Sunday 21st July, you will also be able to take advantage of the early bird prices!

Fraser’s Story

One of our fantastic supporters, Fraser Oliver, who is taking on a triathlon for us, was in the top 3% of fundraisers on the whole of JustGiving for the month of May 2019! Congratulations to Fraser on this amazing achievement.

Here is Fraser’s story:

“As many of you that are reading this may know, last year I lost my father. A heart shattering event, that I never expected to deal with in my 20’s. He was a fit and healthy 54 year old, whom I cherished as a best mate and spent much of my spare time going on holidays and adventures with.

He fought a short, stoic battle with an extremely rare and aggressive cancer. So short in fact, that we had very little opportunity to get anything in place or planned for when the unimaginable happened. Fortunately for us, the incredible St Barnabas Hospice exists.

On the 30th of June 2018, he suddenly deteriorated and we were informed that he had hours to live. Knowing he would have hated to pass away in the chaos of A&E. The inspiring staff at St Barnabas went out of their way to accept him and offer all of us the peace and space we needed to let him graciously leave us.

For this, my family and I will be forever grateful and want to do anything we can to give something back. Starting with a little triathlon.

Anything you can give will be greatly received by the organisation and the people and families that they will support now and in the future.”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Fraser! Support his triathlon on JustGiving here and help him reach his fundraising goal for St Barnabas: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fraser-oliver

“The nurses spoke to, rather than at or about, Mum and they cared for her as if she was a member of their own family.”

Melanie Taylor, owner of a HR Consultancy business, has chosen to share her experience of the care that her Mum, Maureen Dennis, received from St Barnabas Hospice.

Maureen was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2017 and sadly died at home on 3rd February 2018, age 82. Melanie said:

“Mum and Dad were both really upbeat about Mum’s diagnosis, saying that there was a lot of support available.

“Mum had opted not to have treatment for her cancer as she had seen friends undergo treatment which had significantly impacted on their quality of life. She wanted to carry on as normal and receive palliative care to ensure that she wasn’t in pain. This brave decision allowed us to have more quality time together without the focus of hospital visits and treatment regimes.”

After Maureen’s decision not to have treatment, she was referred to St Barnabas Hospice to discuss the support they could provide. Melanie said:

“Mum wanted to die in her own home, so my sisters and I supported my dad to care for her there. In the last few weeks of her life, the Hospice at Home team visited regularly to support us as a family. They helped with personal care, allowing Mum more dignity than having to be washed by her children or husband, and this allowed us to revert back to being family, rather than carers.

“The care received from St Barnabas was fantastic. The Hospice at Home nurses were always cheerful and respectful. They spoke to, rather than at or about, Mum and they cared for her as if she was a member of their own family. They read the mood of the house and then supported us accordingly – whether that was to have a bit of a laugh or to console us during a tearful moment.”

Two weeks before Maureen died, she celebrated her 82nd birthday with a traditional party tea like the ones she used to make for Melanie and her sisters when they were children. Maureen’s brother also came to visit and they were able to spend quality time together as a family. Melanie said:

“I remember one of the nurses asking us to make sure we’d left Mum’s perfume out so that they could put some on after she’d been washed. Their level of compassion, going beyond the basics, really touched our family.

“It would be easy to think that caring for someone at the end of their life is morbid or difficult. Whilst I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have tough moments, I also remember lots of happy times when we were able to spent time with Mum.

“Because we were at home, Mum was surrounded by everything familiar, even down to photo albums that we could get out and look through with her. It was a sad time, but also a very special time.”

St Barnabas Hospice provides free care to people across Lincolnshire living with a life-limiting or terminal illness and their families and carers. To find out more about the different ways we can help, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk

Lincs FM presenter set to run Colour Dash after care his ex-partner is receiving

John Marshall; Lincs FM presenter, along with his daughter Eleanor will be running the Inflatable Colour Dash, as John and his family are experiencing the St Barnabas Hospice care first hand.

John has been supporting Angela, his ex-partner and Eleanor’s mother with her cancer diagnosis since 2016. Angela is currently in the care of St Barnabas Hospice.

John explains;

“Angela is many things; 48, my ex-girlfriend, an amazing mother to our daughter Eleanor, my best friend and terminally ill. 

In 2016 Angela underwent surgery and follow up treatment following a breast cancer diagnosis, a year or so later she needed further surgery to remove all the lymph nodes under her left arm as well as part of her chest muscle, where it had also spread. Fast forward to 2019 and Angela is diagnosed with stage four secondary cancer in her lungs and bones, her treatment is now palliative.  Angela has a constantly swollen and painful left arm, a condition known as lymphedema, often struggles to walk or breathe properly. For the last few years both she and Eleanor have been living with me as we attempt to prepare for the future both myself and Eleanor will inevitably face.

Recently Angela was given a place at St Barnabas Hospice in Lincoln where she remained for over three weeks; the goal was to achieve some degree of pain management and to hopefully build her up a little. I’ve mentioned St Barnabas events for many years on the radio but until seeing close up what they do I have been very green to it all, I suspect this is true for many of you reading this text. The hospice isn’t just a place that people go to die, Angela isn’t at that point yet, she’s not good, she may not experience many ups, and may have plenty of downs on the road ahead, but I cannot praise the Hospice enough for all they’ve done for her, it truly is a place of immense support and comfort.

Until now only my closest friends have known of Angela’s situation but in the hope of raising awareness and some much needed funds for the Hospice it feels like the right time to change that.

I’ve mentioned St Barnabas events for many years on Lincs FM but until my recent spell seeing exactly what they do up close I really didn’t appreciate the amazing service being provided. I’ll be running the Colour Dash at the Lincolnshire Showground on May 11th with my 13 year old daughter Eleanor. I hope you will support us.

Thank you,

John xxx

Come and join us and run shoulder to shoulder in support of this amazing local charity, places are limited so sign up today! Visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/ICD19

“If I could have one more day with Dad, I’d hold him once more and tell him just how much I love him”

Jamie Aspland, Branch Manager at Pygott & Crone in Sleaford, has been part of a phenomenal fundraising attempt in support of St Barnabas Hospice. To date, the company has raised over £7,000 for the Hospice and this total is still increasing.

Sadly, on 27th November 2016 Jamie’s dad, Nigel, died age 63 after being diagnosed around six months earlier with terminal cancer. Nigel spent many weeks being cared for by our Hospice at Home team before choosing to spend his last 29 days in our Hospice in the Hospital at Grantham.

Jamie was lucky to work for such a supportive company who allowed him the time to look after his dad when he was reaching the end of his life. Jamie said:

“Before we were referred to St Barnabas, we had a family rota to make sure someone was looking after Dad at all times. This didn’t go to plan when Dad tried to go to the toilet on his own one night as he didn’t want to wake me after a busy day at work. Unfortunately he fell and it was a wake-up call that we just couldn’t cope on our own without extra support.

“From then on, St Barnabas took over Dad’s care and it felt like a weight had lifted. I had promised myself I would look after Dad until the end but the St Barnabas nurses were able to show me that it would be better for Dad if we all worked together. They were 100% right.”

“I can hand-on-heart say that without St Barnabas I’m not sure how I would have got through the last months of Dad’s life. The room which Dad was in was amazing, the support and care given to him was second to none and nothing was ever too much. The nurses supported me when I needed supporting and left me when I needed time alone. They just seemed to know what to do at all the right times. When end-of-life came, they knew all the right things to do to keep us calm and help us think about the next steps.

“One memory that sticks in my mind is about another family who were going through the same thing as us. The lady who was terminally ill wanted to be alive for Christmas but her family and St Barnabas nurses were aware that this would not be possible. The nurses arranged for her to have her own Christmas Day on 25th November. They came in wearing Christmas jumpers, brought presents and enjoyed all the fun and laughter of a normal Christmas with the family. What an amazing memory to leave that family with.”

Jamie has pledged to raise enough money for St Barnabas to cover every penny’s worth of care and support that was given to himself and his family. Jamie said:

“If I could have one more day with Dad, I’d want thank him for the legacy he has set up for our family and let him see his grandson, Jai, playing football. I’d want to hold him once more and tell him just how much I love him. There are always times when I miss his presence more as it’s hard knowing I can’t run decisions past him anymore and get his advice.”

St Barnabas Hospice provides free care to people across Lincolnshire living with a life-limiting or terminal illness and their families and carers. To find out more about the different ways we can help, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk

Nigel, grandson Jai and son Jamie

Jamie running the Lincoln 10k

Pygott & Crone team after the Lincoln 10k