Not a day goes by when I don’t think about my mum.
Finding out my mum, Shirley, had pancreatic cancer was completely devastating but we were determined to make the most of our time left together. Although the eight weeks from her diagnosis to when she died were heartbreaking, they were also full of love and happy moments which I will always cherish. And I will never forget the kindness, care and compassion everyone at Ashgate Hospicecare showed to my amazing mum in her final weeks.
That’s why I am honoured to be writing to you now, to ask if you’ll join me in remembering all the loved ones we’ve lost by dedicating a Rainbow Ribbon in their memory.
In return for making a donation to Ashgate Hospicecare, you will receive a Rainbow Ribbon in the colour of your choice. You’ll then be able to write your own special message on your ribbon to remember someone important in your life. You may wish to tie your ribbon around your wrist or hang it in your favourite place. The team at Ashgate Hospicecare will also hang a Rainbow Ribbon in the gardens of the Hospice with your loved one’s name written on. You’re always welcome to visit the Hospice gardens any time to see your Rainbow Ribbon, which will be on display throughout the summer months.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to remember my mum, Shirley, in this beautiful way, with a Rainbow Ribbon, whilst supporting Ashgate Hospicecare.
Mum didn’t want to go to hospital or into a nursing home, she really wanted to stay in her own home until the end. I am a nurse so I felt I should have been able to look after her, but her needs were too great for me to cope with on my own.
Our first involvement with Ashgate Hospicecare was through the Community Palliative Care Nursing Team. When a nurse called Anita arrived, mum was having a really bad day and I felt so overwhelmed. Anita was such a calming presence. She said ‘Don’t worry, I’m here. We can sort this.’ It was such a relief to have her support. She eased my mum’s restless legs straight away and her regular visits meant my husband and I could focus on caring for Mum.
It felt like people had their arms around us. No matter what time of day, we had a support network of friends, family, the Hospice and the district nurse who could help us, so I wasn’t all on my own.
I really wanted to nurse mum all the way through, but I didn’t realise how hard it would be to nurse a family member until I was faced with the situation. Mum declined rapidly one weekend, so I picked up the phone and called Ashgate Hospicecare. One of the specialist nurses came out and helped to manage mums pain relief. She helped mum to settle and checked we were all ok.
Mum died peacefully on the Monday, surrounded by her family. As devastated as we were to lose her, knowing that she had received such good care was a huge source of comfort to us all.
Ashgate Hospicecare supported us through our darkest hours. However, one in four families who need care at home still can’t get it. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it is for these patients and families to cope and that’s why I hope you’ll join me in making a donation for a Rainbow Ribbon now.
Did you know that £24.50 could pay for a Hospice Support Worker to visit a patient in their own home for one hour? Your donation will help to make sure that people, like my mum, receive the care and support they need at the most crucial time.
When I receive my Rainbow Ribbon, I’ll wear it with pride to remember my wonderful mum and all the colour she brought to my life. I hope you’ll do the same for your loved one.
Thank you for your generosity and for helping to ensure that no one goes through what we went through alone.