Saint Michael’s supporter, Sue Oxley, has taken part in the Midnight Walk every year since the event began in 2007. Here, the retired deputy head teacher shares her Midnight Walk memories with us.
I first heard about Saint Michael’s Hospice in 1988. My mum, who was dying from breast cancer, would need a hospice very soon. Saint Michael’s was not complete in time for her to enjoy the special care that Saint Michael’s is now renowned for.
Nearly 20 years later, in 2007, a friend, Moira, asked me to accompany her on the first Midnight Walk. She had throat cancer and had endured countless chemo and radio therapy treatments; she wanted to get herself fit again. The Midnight Walk was the challenge.
We began with short walks in the countryside around her home, practising and strengthening Moira, and gradually built up the distance to six and a half miles. Finally we were ready!
Many of my friends found it quite incredible that I was going to give up my sleep to walk six and a half miles at midnight. They didn’t know what they were missing. A fantastic atmosphere, people chatting, laughing – a real sense of camaraderie! A great way to raise money for a worthy cause.
So began a routine of me registering for the walk, as early as possible, sometimes I walked with friends and last year I did it on my own. Moira had continued her battle with cancer, but finally lost it in April 2011. Walking on my own was hard last year, but I was determined to raise money for Saint Michael’s again and to walk in memory of Moira – a very special lady.
She spent the last few weeks of life in the beautiful setting of Saint Michael’s with the caring nurses, doctors and other staff, where nothing was too much trouble. She loved dogs and the PAT dogs who came to visit gave her great joy.
Saint Michael’s is a wonderful place filled with tranquillity, care and peacefulness.
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