A study into Kelly's 10 year association with St Andrew's Hospice and a tribute to her beloved dad, who sadly passed away one year ago on Father's Day!
For Kelly Wilcock and her family, the word ‘hospice’ was originally a scary word.
“I thought it was a place where you just came to die, but I couldn’t be more wrong,” said Kelly.
Her ten-year association with the hospice began when a friend came in for respite when receiving treatment for cancer in 2008.
The next time Kelly encountered the hospice, things had dramatically changed at the Peaks Lane site. Kelly came to the hospice to attend meetings whilst she was raising funds for motor neurone disease. She also took part in a ‘Wacky Wig Walk’ and has had many Christmas dinners, within the hospice restaurant.
“I thought that the hospice was just for patients with cancer, but my cousin was suffering from motor neurone disease.
“The new hospice building was even more welcoming than the old one – it is so bright, open and really welcoming.”
That outlook of the new hospice building played a part in Kelly’s dad, Ken, coming to St Andrew’s for treatment in 2018.
Kelly and her father, Ken on her wedding day! Ken passed away on Father's Day in 2018.
“My dad had throat cancer and came to the hospice for lymphoedema treatment,” said Kelly.
“I thought he would be worried about the word ‘hospice’ and what we generally associate with it.
“I didn’t think he would really like it but I was wrong.
“He would come into the hospice and leave with a real spring in his step.
“The nurses were so attentive and supportive and really looked after him.”
Sadly, Kelly’s father passed away in 2018 on Father's Day but her relationship with the hospice continues.
“We received support from Macmillan after dad had passed away, and they really helped us with the funeral plans.
“The support we received from everyone at the hospice really made me want to help them out any way I could.
“Each Christmas I hold a collection of unwanted gifts from friends and family, which we donate to the hospice, and we have a collection of chocolate eggs for the children’s unit at Easter.
“I know how the hospice is reliant on funds too, which is why I have signed up to the lottery online – it’s a really good way for me to support the fantastic work that they do, each and every week.”