70-year-old’s Wing Walk for local hospice

On Sunday 21 August, Kathlyn Riley, 70, from Worthing, will be taking on her fear of heights and flying through the sky at up to 130mph on a Wing Walk to raise funds for St Barnabas House, the hospice who cared for her dad, Walter when he died in 1996 at the age of 72.

The Wing Walk will be Kathlyn’s first ever adrenaline fuelled challenge, “I’ve taken on charity walks and runs in the past,” says Kathlyn, “but my hips and knees are getting worse as I get older, so I wanted to try something different! I’m not very good with heights, so being strapped to the wing of a plane will be a real challenge for me.”

Speaking about why she wanted to fundraise for St Barnabas House hospice, Kathlyn says, “I wanted to fundraise for St Barnabas House to say thank you for the care they gave my family when Dad died.”

In 1996, Walter was feeling unwell and undergoing treatment in hospital. “It was at this point that they found out Dad had advanced lung cancer, and that he didn’t have long left to live.”

Speaking about this difficult time, Kathlyn says, “Dad was a stubborn man, and he made it clear that he wasn’t ready to die and that he didn’t want to go into a hospice. But as his health deteriorated, my mum started to find caring for him difficult, so he agreed to go to the hospice to give her a short break.

“I remember walking into the hospice and thinking how peaceful it was, it was so calm and everyone there was so kind and gentle. The care they gave dad was incredible, and it made a big difference to our family.

“Dad wanted to die at home, and St Barnabas House helped us make that happen. They arranged for nurses to come and visit him and provided us with that extra support. Then, on 25 October 1996, Dad died at home with his family by his side.”

When asked what Walter would think about Kathlyn taking on this challenge for St Barnabas House, Kathlyn says, “he’d think I was mad!”

A photo of Kathlyn

Take on a Wing-Walk

There’s still time to sign up to do a Wing Walk for St Barnabas House on Sunday 21 August. And if this date doesn’t work for you, you can pick another day!

Wing Walks