Thursday, May 30, 2024

Remember a loved one and Light up a Life with St. Luke’s Hospice

ST. Luke’s Hospice has launched its annual ‘Light up a Life’ appeal, giving people the chance to remember a loved one this Christmas-time, while also supporting the Hospice.

Local people are invited to make a donation to the Hospice in their loved one’s memory online at www.stlukeshospice.com/light-up-a-life, where they can add a personal message and photo to the special online dedication board. Donations can also be made by contacting the Fundraising team on 01268 524973. 

In December the Hospice will also be holding its much-loved remembrance services across the local community and there will be a Light up a Life radio dedication programme aired in partnership with Gateway 97.8. 

This year’s Light up a Life appeal has been very kindly supported by Ben Farley, whose wife Kirsty was cared for by St. Luke’s Hospice last year.

Ben shares his story:

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“Kirsty and I met when we were just 16 years old. We married in September 2017. Kirsty was simply amazing. She was very caring, happy and intelligent. We had so many fantastic times together and so much to still look forward to.

“In 2019, Kirsty noticed an unusual looking mole on her shoulder, which turned out to be melanoma, or skin cancer. I can only really describe being in complete shock when we found out the news. Kirsty was only 31 years old.

“But even as the news sank in, we stayed positive. A close relative of mine had melanoma and recovered after treatment. That would happen for Kirsty; we were sure of it. However, just over a year after she was first diagnosed, scans showed a shadow on Kirsty’s brain. We knew this was bad; the cancer had spread to her brain.

“In November 2021, Kirsty had a seizure and we were faced with the harshest of realities, she was not going to get better. Our consultant suggested we get in touch with St. Luke’s Hospice.

“We didn’t know anything about the Hospice or the services available

but we didn’t hesitate to make the call. Getting Kirsty the help she needed was our priority.

“From the moment she arrived at St. Luke’s Hospice everyone was so welcoming. People just had more time, which she needed. Not just physical time in care and medical support, but also by providing emotional support for not only Kirsty but our families as well.

“For a long time we thought we could cope on our own at home and didn’t want to be a burden in asking for too much help. It was only once we asked for help that we realised how much support there was from the Hospice. Their care made what was an extremely difficult time easier and allowed our families the peace of mind that Kirsty was safe. We wish we had asked for help earlier.

“Kirsty stayed at the Hospice for six weeks. We all got to spend time with her, with her family and friends coming to visit.

“Every Sunday the nurses would set up the family room for just Kirsty and I so that we could have dinner together. They would move the furniture and put a fully laid table out for us. Mac, who works in the kitchen, would bring the food in with such a smile on his face that would brighten up Kirsty’s face too. These memories will stay with me forever, and gave us a little normality which was a huge help.

“The team at St. Luke’s Hospice were always thinking ahead and trying to make sure that Kirsty had everything she could have wanted and needed.

“At Christmas time, the Hospice decorated the garden areas which Kirsty could see from her bedroom window. We wanted to try and bring Kirsty home on Christmas Day and the team at St. Luke’s Hospice looked at putting together a plan for this to happen, but that wasn’t possible for us. Kirsty passed away just a few days before Christmas.

“Kirsty’s family, her friends and I were are all lucky to have had her in our lives and miss her incredibly. She was cared for amazingly by St. Luke’s Hospice – we couldn’t have asked for better for Kirsty.

“For those who donate to St. Luke’s Hospice, on behalf of Kirsty and both of our families, thank you. The care and compassion that the Hospice gives helped keep a smile on Kirsty’s face until her very last days with us and your donations help to make their work possible.”

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For more information about Light up a Life the ways you can take part and support St. Luke’s Hospice, visit www.stlukeshospice.com/light-up-a-life or call the Light up a Life team on 01268 524 973 or email donate@stlukeshospice.co.uk.

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