As St Luke’s Midnight Walk approaches its 15th year, for those of us taking part our thoughts turn to all those special people we walk in memory of.
Helen Wallace is just one of our wonderful supporters who has signed up for the first time this year, and walks in memory of her beloved mum, AnnMarie Colman.
‘My mum passed away at the Hospice on 15th December last year. She worked in the Lymphoedema clinic at St Luke’s for a number of years, so it is a place close to our hearts. When she first became poorly, I told her that I was going to do the Midnight Walk.’
Helen has enlisted the support of her husband, sister, family from Liverpool including cousins and a couple of AnnMarie’s nephews, to make it an evening to remember.
‘This is my first one, I’ve decided that this is my year. Plus I told my mum – so I couldn’t not do it!’
Unfortunately, since signing up for the Walk, one of Helen’s close friends was admitted to the In Patient unit at the Hospice at the age of 36.
‘A few of my friends were spurred on to join me in light of our friend’s diagnosis, so we’re doing it for her too.
‘St Luke’s has incredible nurses and provides such wonderful care. When you come into this sort of environment, it can often be quite frightening and upsetting, but St Luke’s isn’t like that. It’s not clinical, it has a lovely feeling and there’s a sense of ‘home’.
On a Friday night, me and 7 of my friends visited our friend at the Hospice and had a Chinese and a few glasses of wine in the lounge. It was so lovely to just see her enjoying herself and doing what she wanted to do. We had a little bit of music on in the background – although did have to check a couple of times that we weren’t making too much noise! The staff have been so welcoming and encouraged us to come back. It’s a genuine sense of care, it’s not just their job – it comes from the heart.’
Helen hopes to go beyond her fundraising target of £500 and has been overwhelmed by the response she’s had so far.
‘It’s unbelievable how generous people are – some people who have been donating I don’t even know personally, so it’s been a real heart-warming journey. I’ve raised more than I thought at this stage and I don’t feel like I’ve really even begun yet!’
‘I’m looking forward to the whole experience, my husband will be joining me along with my sister, family and lots of friends. My mum completed the walk three times in the past and always talked about the buzz and the feeling you get when you reach the end. I’m so happy that we’re all walking together in memory of mum.
I’ve witnessed first-hand the amazing work St Luke’s does and I’m proud to be walking this year.’
If you’ve been inspired by Helen and want to join us on our Midnight Walk, there’s still time. Visit https://www.slhospice.co.uk/midnightwalk to book your place today.
If you would like to sponsor Helen and her team of walkers, visit her JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/Helen-Wallace22