Hornchurch wife to support Saint Francis Hospice's 10k Star Walk in memory of husband
PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 August 2018
Saint Francis Hospice
"Saint Francis Hospice has added life to my days, not just days to my life".
These were the touching words of 45-year-old husband and dad Dee Mahandru, from Hornchurch, who was able to spend some time with his newborn daughter Sophia and wife Julie before he died.
In memory of him, Julie, 43, with her sister Jane Tointon, will be supporting the Havering-atte-Bower charity’s 10k Star Walk in Romford, raising funds so it can continue providing its specialist end of life care to the community.
She said: “There is always such a lovely atmosphere and everyone who comes along knows that they are making a difference.
“It is so important to give something back.
“People often think of hospices as sad places where you go to die, but that’s not the case.”
Dee, who had stomach cancer, was admitted to the inpatient unit four times for pain management and symptom control.
Julie was able to stay with Dee in the family room and says the care he received dramatically improved his quality of life.
And before he died in 2010, the couple spent time together at its day services in Pemberton Place where Dee took part in arts and crafts activities, making cushions for his loved ones, including his daughter.
Julie said: “It was such a wonderful distraction.
“I was pregnant at the time and I used to take part too, we loved it.
“Sophia still has the cushion her daddy made for her.”
The family’s connection with Saint Francis Hospice started in 2005 when Julie and Jane’s grandad Charles Bishop was cared for in the inpatient unit.
Three months after Dee died, their grandmother Clara Bishop was looked after by the hospice.
Jane is also hoping to spend a day volunteering at one of the Hospice’s stores and the Upminster branch of Halifax where she works will be making a donation as part of its support for the community.
She said: “The hospice means so much to our family.
“I have seen the brilliant care they provide, not just for older people, but for younger people and their families too.”
To take part in the Star Walk, visit sfh.org.uk/star-walk