Could you be a Hospice Hero in 2018?
In a new series, we’ll be shining a spotlight at those who take on an extreme challenge to raise money for Weston Hospicecare. We’re incredibly grateful for the overwhelming generosity and support given to us by the local community, which enables us to continue offering all of our services for free. It costs £4 million per year to keep Weston Hospicecare running, and only 20% of that money comes from the NHS. So you can see, we are reliant on our fantastic community to support us by shopping in our shops, holding fundraising events such as fairs or bake sales, and taking part in events.
Our events come in all shapes and sizes; our Mendip Challenge, for example, is one of our most popular events and sees participants raising money by walking 10, 20, or 30 miles. Then there’s our Midnight Beach Walk, or our upcoming Strictly Fun Dancing. Some people want to go that extra mile, though-often literally- and take on a challenge event.
Challenge events push the participant out of their comfort zones and in doing so, they go above and beyond to raise money for Weston Hospicecare. Whether it’s running a marathon or cycling across Europe, our challengers are true hospice heroes.
Take Steph Grasby, who recently ran the Birmingham Marathon. Steph’s mum was cared for by Weston Hospicecare’s In-Patient Unit, and shortly before she died, Steph told her she was going to run a marathon. It’s a special memory for Steph, because it was the last thing the pair of them laughed about; the notion of Steph being able to run a marathon!
Determination and focus played a huge part, as did the knowledge that she could give something back and sure enough, Steph completed the Birmingham Marathon in 5 hours and 7 minutes.
“The crowd, the build-up, the support from everyone was over whelming, and the fact that I was taking part as I had told my Mum I would, added to the occasion,” Steph says. “Seeing the finish line, with my friends and family waiting just before it, was a feeling I will never forget. I’m glad I could do this for me, but also to help support Weston Hospicecare and the wonderful people who work there. No matter how much money I raise, or what I do in the future, it will never fully pay back what the hospice did for my Mum, me, and the rest of my family in what was a truly difficult time.
My aim was to finish the marathon, no matter if I was running, walking, crawling or being dragged. I was determined to finish. I really enjoyed the first 17 miles, and the last nine were a real struggle, with each mile seeming harder than the last. The course had a few cruel surprises, and the last 400m was uphill! That’s not what you want to see after running 26 miles, but the amazing crowd pushed me on to finish in 5 hours & 7 minutes. I found it strange that people were calling me by name, forgetting that I had it written across my chest with my race number! It’s amazing how much someone supporting you, even when you don’t know who they are, spurs you on. I did ache afterwards; it didn’t stop me doing anything, but it did mean I had to come down the stairs sideways for a while! I hope my small contribution to an amazing cause helps Weston Hospicecare to continue helping families at their darkest times, and making a dreadful situation just that little bit more bearable.”
Not only did Steph tackle a marathon in Birmingham, she also took part in Weston Hospicecare’s Midnight Beach Walk the following week! This special relaxed 5K walk along Weston prom under the night sky is a very special event in our calendar, and we were delighted that Steph could join us on the night.
If you’d like to join Steph in becoming one of our Hospice Heroes, take a look at our website to see the wide range of challenge events on offer in the New Year. We really do have something for everyone, including caving, cycle challenges, and marathons. Call us on 01934 423 967 or email Kelsey.Dehaney@westonhospicecare.org.uk for more information.