Patients, family and supporters share their experiences of our care and their support
10 April 2019
My world shattered on June 10 at 4.07am, when I lost my beautiful son Daniel to cancer. He was 21.
He, his sister and brother were my everything. Daniel was such an inspirational person and still is: his strength and courage was mind-blowing. He never let anything get him down at all.
He was diagnosed at age seven with ADHD and even that never stopped him trying everything. He was always happy and making the best of things. He loved his brother Kane and sister Lorna very much, and if you saw one of them, you’d be sure one or both of them would be close by: my three little musketeers.
We went through a lot with Dan and always come out stronger for it. Whenever I felt like giving up, he would never let me be down for long. It was always “Come on mum we can do this, just have a laugh!”.
We moved to Cambridge when Dan was 10 years old and one of the first things he did, was tell everyone Steven Gerrard was his Dad! But no one could stay mad at him for long. His cheeky smile would could appear and everything was good.
He really thrived in Cambridge, joining the boys’ brigade and even Histon hornets’ football club for a while. His teenage years kicked in and Dan moved out but never lost touch with us: we are and always will be a close family.
Dan met Rebecca and eventually they got married in August 2017. He was so excited when his little girl Millie came along. He doted on his little princess and was so excited and proud to become a Dad. She looks so like him when he was a baby. It was just a joy to see them together.
We first knew something was wrong when he stopped eating properly which was so unlike him. Usually he was the human bin, born with hollow legs and he loved his food. He eventually went to the doctors after a lot of nagging from us. At first, the Doctor said it was his reflux and sent him away with medicine but, when it didn’t get better, they took him and investigated with a camera down to his stomach.
On 28 March we were told what was wrong with him. I never dreamed for a moment about how bad it would eventually be. It turned out he had an ulcer and behind it was the cancer. When I was told it was like someone ripped out my heart, I screamed and couldn’t stop crying. I stayed with Dan that night and held him as he sobbed. I prayed to God to take me instead. My beautiful boy was dying and there was not a thing I could do about it.
He was in and out of hospital until May and then he never left. He was eventually moved to Arthur Rank Hospice, which I had been dreading but the staff and volunteers there were fantastic. Even in his last week’s Dan never stopped laughing and joking and he was made up to find out one of the nurses was from Liverpool.
In his last days his family came from all over to see him. We were with him when he passed. He knew he was going on that day and told me he wasn’t scared as his Nan (my Mum) had come to collect him and take him to heaven.
One of the last things he asked me to do was raise funds for the Hospice: it was his suggestion that we could walk from Cambridge to Liverpool. Read more about the background to the challenge by clicking HERE and read the story of Angela and Lorna’s journey in March and April 2019, by clicking HERE.
As Daniel’s sister, Lorna explains, the whole family is passionate about helping the Hospice make every moment count for others like them:
“Arthur Rank Hospice were amazing, making Daniel’s last days as comfortable and happy as possible. We want to raise as much money as possible for this amazing hospice to carry on looking after people in their last days.”
"They basically just looked after her minute by minute for those final two nights. It was incredible. [...] It was very much as if we were being cared for as a couple.” Michael Barnes' wife Svitlana received care from our Hospice at Home team in February 2019. ... click for more
“Having special time together with Sam in those last few weeks as a wife, but also as a Mum - and for him being able to be a Dad – was really important. Hospice at Home allowed us to be family together, the four of us, at the end.” Xanthe’s husband Sam received care from our Hospice at Home team in 2018. ... click for more
Angela McGrath, Mum of Daniel shares her story and inspiration for walking to Liverpool in memory of her son ... click for more
“I felt like somebody who belonged there and was part of the family”. Kirsty Bradbrook tells us about her husband Mike’s care at Arthur Rank Hospice at the start of 2017... click for more
Jennifer Cater shares her story of the loss of her beautiful daughter Debra Jane Hodgson... click for more
We had the pleasure of chatting to Claire, who has taken part in Bridge the Gap walk since its first year in 2001 as part of the well known group, the ‘Sunflower Girls’.... click for more
Sally shares her touching and powerful story of her family and their relationship with the Hospice... click for more
I will never forget the moment that my husband Hugh broke the news that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The thoughts and emotions that explode in those few seconds are indescribable. The enormity of the implications, the effect ... click for more
Brenda & Stuart Evans reflect on Bridge the Gap
A couple who have ‘Bridged the Gap’ for many years.... click for more
Brenda & Stuart Evans reflect on Bridge the Gap
Kevin very kindly met with Donna Talbot in August this year and shared his touching story of the loss of Mary, his wife.... click for more
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