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Remembering loved ones at hospice walk in Shrewsbury

By Rob Smith | Shrewsbury | Shrewsbury entertainment | Published:

More than 200 people filed through Shrewsbury's Quarry park thinking of loved ones for the first Forget Me Not Walk in aid of the Severn Hospice.

Chloe Powell, centre, with mum Leanne and grandmother Michelle

The new event invited families and friends to wear the hospice's yellow and walk five kilometres around the park to remember people they have lost.

People young and old enjoyed decent weather on the walk, including some families of two or three generations.

One of the younger fundraisers was 10-year-old Chloe Powell, from Shifnal, who was walking for her dad Ade.

He was diagnosed with bowel cancer in the summer of 2016 and went through several rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy while being cared for by the hospice. He died on Valentine's Day last year.

Chloe Powell, centre, with mum Leanne and grandmother Michelle

Chloe said that her dad was cared for well at the hospice, and that she made some firm friends among the nursing staff.

Ade was able to come home for Christmas during his treatment, and Chloe said that the nurses took time to speak with her and ask her about school.

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She was invited to become an ambassador for the walk after deciding to raise money through a bake sale, which made £530.

"I want to make my dad proud," Chloe said at the Quarry. "He liked it at the hospice, he preferred it to the hospital."

She was accompanied by mum Leanne and grandmother Michelle.

The family of Sophie Breakwell, who died aged only 29 in February, also turned out in support.

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Sophie became ill with sarcoma last year, and was told she had four to six weeks to live.

But she battled on for five months, and married fiance Adam Gretton while in the hospice.

Adam's mother Sharron was bowled over by the support the hospice gave the young couple, and took part in the Forget Me Not Walk with Adam's cousin Heidi Smith.

Sharron described how the nurses installed a poster of a beach scene on the ceiling above Sophie's bed to help her feel at peace.

"They just went above and beyond," she said. "Sophie loved the hospice.

"They were brilliant, not just for Sophie, but for all of us.

"The way to describe it is that it is full of angels. That's what Sophie used to say."

Care

Vicki Rawlings was walking for her mother Shirley, and childhood friend Helen Chapman accompanied her.

Vicki, from Shrewsbury, said: "I'm here because I lost my mum eight years ago now. She had lung and brain tumours.

"Severn Hospice were fantastic in the care they gave her.

"They were always there, they couldn't do enough really. The nurses were fantastic, we still see some of them around and they do stop and have a chat.

"My dad used to go there most days and they used to make his tea up so he could be there with my mum."

Vicki Rawlings, left, and Helen Chapman. Pictures: Ross Andrew Photography

Helen, from Market Drayton, said: "I've been friends with Vicki since we were teenagers so I knew Shirley a long time.

"Vicki asked me to come along, I wanted to support her. It is for such a good cause."

Another ambassador for the event was Julie Davies from Oswestry, who lost her dad Jim Lloyd to bowel cancer.

"I used to think the hospice is just somewhere people go to die, like a hospital," she said.

"But it's not like that, it's hard to explain. It's very peaceful and very tranquil.

"It's all relaxed, there is nothing rushed.

Julie Davies, holding dog lead, and family

"When dad realised that it was going to be palliative care and he was going to go in there, the fight seemed to go out of him. He made peace with it.

"They also cared for me, my brother and my sisters."

Since Jim died, Julie has run the London Marathon for the hospice every year except 2016, and is keen to keep raising money and awareness for the services they provide.

She walked on the day with a host of family members.

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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