Jacob Swift, age 24 from Wragby, will join thousands of people across Lincolnshire for the Light up a Life campaign, in remembrance of his dad – local fire fighter, Chris Swift.
Chris sadly died on 30th July 2010, aged 45. This was only seven months after being diagnosed with melanoma, which spread to his bones and brain.
The father-of-two, who was affectionately known as ‘Swifty’, served as a retained firefighter in his home town of Wragby.
Jacob said, “We found out that my dad had skin cancer in the winter of 2010, which was a huge shock for the whole family.
“Dad was only ill for a short period of time, but the care we received from St Barnabas helped to make this time as pain free for him as possible.”
Julie, Jacob’s mum and Chris’s wife, describes Chris as “a big character who was always there for people.”
She said, “St Barnabas really did make all the difference with their support. Chris was able to remain at home where he belonged, and where he felt most comfortable.
“It was nice for the boys to be able to spend time with their dad without the restrictions of visiting times, and felt more natural somehow.”
Jacob now lives in North Wales, and works in an outdoor shop.
Jacob said, “My dad has always loved the outdoors, and he was the one who inspired me to go down this career route.
“One of our family traditions is to visit the Lake District and go to the place where my dad’s ashes are scattered.”
Jacob agreed to take part in the St Barnabas Light up a Life campaign to give something back to the Hospice.
Jacob said, “We received some amazing help from the Hospice, and because they enabled Dad to stay at home during his last month, the whole family were able to be with him when he died.
Jacob’s family take part in the Torchlight Procession through the Bailgate in Lincoln every year, and his mum, Julie, has also done a sponsored skydive in his memory.
Julie said, “A skydive is something I have always wanted to do, and it was a brilliant way for me to commemorate what should have been our 30th wedding anniversary. It was a thrilling and exhilarating experience, and I know that Chris would have been proud of me.
“Before St Barnabas, I had been looking after Chris on my own and had started to feel quite isolated. It was a real relief when they started to visit, and having their support and someone to talk to meant that I was better able to support Chris and our sons.”
If you would like to dedicate a light in memory of someone you will never forget, just like Jacob is doing for his dad, please visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/LUAL.