Fond memories of their late mum’s enthusiasm for life have inspired two sisters to take on personal challenges in support of St Richard’s Hospice as a thank you for the charity’s care.
Penny Goddard, 65, from Astley near Stourport, died from ovarian cancer on Christmas Day in the St Richard’s Hospice In-patient Unit. Just days before Mrs Goddard had shared laughter and tears with her family as she lay in her hospice bed and watched her daughter Abi and partner Kev McPherson’s wedding be blessed in the St Richard’s sacred space.
Abi Goddard, from Cheltenham was due to get married in Spain but wanted her mum to be part of the wedding. St Richard’s pulled out all the stops to make the wedding happen including baking a wedding cake.
Abi and her sister Mrs Naomi Joy are both taking part in the spectacular St Richard’s Hospice Rainbow Run on Mother’s Day this Sunday ( 15 March) alongside 750 participants. Abi said, “We are looking forward to being showered with the colours of the rainbow as we run 5km, it will be a fitting tribute to our colourful and stylish mum.”
Abi, and her cousin Jen Saunders from Stourport, will then take part in the Worcester Half Marathon on 12 April. In June, Abi, Naomi and Jen will plunge 10,000ft in a skydive – all raising funds towards St Richard’s care of patients and their families.
“Mum had an amazing acceptance of her illness, despite everything that she had to go through during her treatment, and demonstrated great strength, positivity and a new found sparkle for life following her initial diagnosis in August 2012, “ said Abi.
“In fond memory of Mum I am now planning to continue this enthusiasm for life by doing some fun and slightly scary challenges to fundraise for St Richard’s Hospice who cared for Mum at the end of her life.
“It is hard to put my gratitude into words to thank St Richard’s Hospice for the care and compassion that they showed to Mum and our family. Mum was a patient for two weeks but I will remember this time and the staff and volunteers for the rest of my life: the tranquility that Mum felt from being in such a caring and peaceful place, having the wedding blessing a week before she died , and the final few days that we shared by Mum’s bedside.”
Abi added, “I hope people will dig deep to ensure that St Richard’s Hospice can continue to help other families affected by cancer. I thought hospices would be a scary and sad place but they are uniquely special and are able to help families during a time of crisis.”
Abi and Kev will be officially married in Spain in May. They have asked guests who wish to give a wedding gift to make a donation to St Richard’s.
To make a donation please go to http://www.justgiving.com/pennygoddardsrh
St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with life-threatening illnesses and supports their families. Each year the hospice team supports over 2,500 patients and family members in Worcestershire with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
Patients are cared for in Day Hospice, the 17-bed In-patient Unit or in their own homes by a specialist professional team as well as many trained volunteers.
In the In-patient Unit, specialist staff are on hand 24 hours a day to manage patients’ symptoms and where, if appropriate, patients may spend the last few days of life in comfort and dignity. St Richard’s is an independent charity and is grateful for all donations to help it to continue its work.
( Left to right, Harold Goddard, Pete Goddard, Penny Goddard, Kev McPerson, Abi Goddard with daughter Jessica, Naomi Joy her daughter Amelie and husband Andrew.