Brenda is a former patient of the Dougie Mac and a keen supporter of the hospice. Take a look below at Brenda’s story of conquering last years 5K walk event.
“My name is Brenda, a former patient of the Dougie Mac. Two years ago, I was diagnosed terminally ill and given months to live but my drive was knowing that I was going to be supported by the hospice and that the care my family and I were going to receive after my treatment would be second to none.
I spoke to the team at Dougie Mac and together we formed a care plan which included visiting the Day Therapy Unit once a week. I looked forward to my Tuesday visits and I took part in art therapy and physiotherapy classes which really helped me to come to terms with my illness. Having others in similar positions to talk through our shared experiences really put my mind to rest. I also accepted the support from a home visiting volunteer – a Buddy. Faye visited me each week, usually on a Monday afternoon, spending a few hours with me.
When I said that I wanted to take part in the 5K walk, I was joking. Nevertheless, my family and the Dougie Mac staff thought it would be a great idea and a triumph for me at the age of 85! Before I knew it, I was signed up. My daughter brought me a walker to aid the journey alongside my Dougie Mac Buddy, Faye.
What can I say about my Buddy? She was wonderful! I looked forward each Monday to opening the door and there Faye would be with the biggest smile, eager and willing to take me out. Without any fuss but lots of enthusiasm, we started off slowly and with very short walks around Trentham Gardens. We must have looked like The Odd Couple; I am short and fat, Faye is tall and slim, but each week was enjoyable. Faye trained me which helped both physically and mentally and gave me a feeling of independence. Faye had never been to Trentham Gardens so I was able to tell her about the history of Trentham and she took a keen interest in the different plants and the changes during the seasons. These walks grew slowly longer and a little quicker over the months until the day of the event.
Fast forward to the event day – well, what an experience – the route was a huge challenge for me. Walking as ‘Team Brenda’ with my daughter, granddaughter and her boyfriend, we set off. The walk took us a few hours to complete. We were the last ones to cross the line, and most people had gone home and were cheering me on from their cars, but seeing that finish line, with my friends, Dougie Mac staff and volunteers and even some of my friends from the Day Therapy Unit cheering me on was the most outstanding feeling; and raising £1,200 for the hospice was the icing on the cake! I came 1000 out of 1000, but I did it and still feel today a sense of accomplishment. I am determined to try again this year and hope to come 999th!
If, like Brenda, you’d like to enter the Dougie Mac 5K walk or run on Sunday 25th March 2018, you can register here: http://www.dmhospice.org.uk/events/.
If you’re interested in volunteering and have some time to give – whether that’s an hour a day or an hour a week – why not become a Buddy like Faye? Please contact our Volunteer Resource Department on 01782 344332 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Take a look at our website for more of our volunteering opportunities: http://www.dmhospice.org.uk/work-with-us/volunteering-opportunities/.