Walking for Mum and Dad

On 25 June, Stella Thompson, 49, from Worthing, her husband, Keith, 55, and three of their work colleagues, Chris, George & Juan, will be setting off from Worthing Leisure Centre at 4.15am to walk 10km in St Barnabas House’s Sunrise to Remember. They are fundraising to support their local hospice, which is close to Stella’s heart as St Barnabas provided end-of-life care for her mum and is currently caring for her dad.

The early Saturday morning start will be a challenge for the group, who all work together at Nevalee Business Solutions. The youngest member of the team, 23-year-old George Lee said, “I’m either still in bed at 4am, or I might be coming in from a night out – but I’m not usually going out at that time.”

For Stella, the challenge will be an emotional, as well as a physical challenge.

In 2017, Stella’s mum, Val received a terminal diagnosis, and the family were told that she had six months to live. “Mum sadly deteriorated much quicker than expected and she died in five weeks,” says Stella. “At this difficult time, my dad, Den, was in shock, and St Barnabas House really helped him deal with everything through their bereavement support.”

Recently, Stella’s dad, Den, was diagnosed with Pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease that makes it difficult for his lungs to work properly. “Dad now needs ambulatory oxygen to help him breathe, which is a small portable oxygen cylinder, and he also needs quite a lot of assistance to walk and dop everyday activities.”

Den is under the care of St Barnabas House and visits their gym weekly to help keep him active. He also works with one of the hospice’s physiotherapists to help ease his pain. “The Hospice at Home team are also regularly visiting Dad at home,” says Stella. “And I’m so thankful for them, they help us navigate the journey we are on together.”

When asked what Den would think about the team taking on the challenge, Stella says, “I think he is a bit shocked! Dad doesn’t wake up until quite late, and I told him that we’d have finished the challenge and be home by the time he’s out of bed and he laughed and said ‘well, don’t knock on my door on the way through!’ I know he’s proud of us.”

Sponsor Stella and team

Find out about Sunrise to Remember

Our newest event is open to all ages. Registration is £25 per person and £15 for children under 14. There is also a family ticket available for £65. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Sunrise to Remember