Sarah Poucher and family are taking part in Rudy’s Run in memory of her dad, Colin

27th October 2020

This Christmas, a family from Wragby will take part in Rudy’s Run in memory of Colin Westwood. Making up the family is Colin’s wife, Linda, their daughter, Sarah, and their grandchildren, Mollie (age 10), Thomas (age 9) and Bethan (age 6).

Rudy’s Run isn’t a race, but a chance to run, walk or prance at school or at home to raise vital funds for St Barnabas Hospice. Registration includes antlers and red noses for the whole family or group, as well as a downloadable pack of activities including Rudy’s special recipe for reindeer food, make your own Christmas decorations, word search and colouring template.

Losing a loved one can be extremely traumatic for a child, but is something which one in thirty children go through every day. Rudy’s Run has been designed to highlight the free bereavement support which St Barnabas provides, and to continue funding it throughout the Hospice’s toughest year to date.

Linda, Sarah and family have witnessed first-hand the care and compassion from St Barnabas Hospice when Colin was in their care in 2013. Colin was diagnosed with bowel cancer and had his first operation just three days after his granddaughter, Mollie, was born. Over the next few years, the cancer spread to his lymph glands and lungs.

Colin’s daughter, Sarah said, “My dad was the most intelligent person I’ve ever known. He always had the answer, whatever the question, but he wasn’t arrogant with it. He was a quiet man who loved to read, and this love of books stayed with him right to the end. Even when he was too weak to hold a book, we bought him a lightweight Kindle so he could continue his reading.

“In Dad’s last few weeks the St Barnabas Hospice at Home team from Louth were amazing. Dad’s final wish was to die at home and we just wouldn’t have been able to carry this out without them. He was dignified and hated to rely on others for help, but the nurses made him feel comfortable and gave him the dignity he needed.

“After a visit from his GP, Mum told us it was time to be at home with Dad as he didn’t have long left. We decided to have fish and chips in his room that week and celebrate his upcoming birthday. We read all his cards out to him and sang ‘happy birthday’. Dad died the next day in the early hours of the morning, age 81. This was the day before his 82nd birthday.

“Since Dad died, keeping his memory alive has been so important to us as a family. Mollie and Thomas were only young when he passed away, but we always talk about him and do things in his memory. We have taken part in On Yer Bike and Colour Dash for St Barnabas, as well as dedicating a forget me not and dragonfly in his memory. My youngest daughter, Bethan, was born exactly a year after Dad’s funeral. She has his love of knowledge and certain things she says remind us all of him.

“Rudy’s Run stood out to us as an initiative we would love to support together. Mum joined a St Barnabas bereavement group after Dad passed away which was invaluable to her. She made some great friends and found an outlet for her grief where she could talk to others in her position. The fact that Rudy’s Run is raising money to support the Hospice’s bereavement services means a lot to our family and we are determined to do our bit to help.”

Thomas said, “I miss when my grandad used to bounce me on the bed to make me giggle. We will be doing Rudy’s Run to help other poorly people like him.”

Mollie added, “Grandad used to read with me, and he taught me the alphabet on trips to the hospital for his treatment. I can’t wait for Rudy’s Run because we get to wear antlers and new Christmas jumpers for Grandad!”

Rudy’s Run is taking place throughout November and December this year. If you want to sign up, just like Colin’s family have done, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/rudysrun-2021. Every penny you raise will make a huge difference to vulnerable people across Lincolnshire.

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