Two weeks before Katie Haywood got married, her mum Christine was diagnosed with bowel cancer. But, sadly, after several rounds of chemotherapy, Christine passed away in June this year. Three months later, to honour her memory, Katie took part in the Severn Hospice Midnight Walk raising over £1,000.
“The walk was brilliant, it was late at night, raining and I had a bad ankle which made it all the more challenging and amazing! The atmosphere was full of adrenaline from start to finish – everyone was dressed up, and people were laughing, joking and talking to strangers along the way. And it was nice to know everyone was there for the same reason.
I persuaded my husband and dad to volunteer as marshals and I took part in the walk with my friends – Karen and Lisa Jones. The toughest part was going up Wyle Cop in Shrewsbury; my friends and I don’t like that hill at the best of times. The emotion of the event was intense – what it meant to me, my family and knowing that the money raised goes towards helping other people receive the brilliant care that Severn Hospice provides.
My friends Karen and Lisa were very supportive to me and I needed that; I would have broken down without them. I also could not have completed this walk without the amazing support from everyone who sponsored me; each and every donation makes a huge difference to someone’s life.
I was thinking about my mum during the walk and some treasured memories of my wedding day. It was very emotional as we had been told mum only had six months left to live, so I wanted my day to be extra special. It was held in a castle in the Vale of Glamorgan and it was a beautiful day full of really happy memories. Mum was there and that meant the world to me.
I was motivated to do the walk because of how my mum was cared for at Severn Hospice. I wanted to raise much needed funds to keep the hospice going so that others can experience the same help, support and tranquillity at times that are difficult for all the family to cope with.
Mum never wanted to go into a hospice because she was scared of dying. However these thoughts were quickly remedied by the kindness of staff and peacefulness of the hospice itself. Mum received help from the team at home and at the hospice, and everyone mum was in contact with handled her with the utmost care and respect. Mum chose to pass away at Severn Hospice; it meant so much to her to be in a caring and calming environment.
I didn’t quite make it back to Shrewsbury from South Wales before mum died, so it was reassuring to know that my dad and the nursing staff were at mum’s side. I didn’t quite expect her to pass away so suddenly, I was expecting it at some point of course, but not quite so soon.
Yet the staff looked after me and my family members just as well as their patients. The nurses were kind and gave my family as much time as we needed to sit at mum’s bedside, which especially meant a lot to my brother and me as we live in different parts of the country. Having that final bit of time with mum meant everything.
I knew mum was in the best place – it was just so peaceful. The Severn Hospice team make such a difference at one of the worst times of your life.”