Tony’s Sparkle Walk Story:
My association with City Hospice goes back a very long time and started with Carol’s diagnosis at University Hospital of Wales in 2003, with Ulcerative colitis. However, we became aware increasingly of the services available at the Hospice as time passed by. This became more necessary as other serious conditions raised their ugly heads, starting with breast cancer in 2010, followed by chemotherapy/radiotherapy/Herceptin treatment 2011 and 2012. While this condition was treated, Carol developed Parkinson’s Disease that necessitated regular treatment at Rookwood Hospital. Finally, the cancer returned and metastasised to other organs. Carol developed secondary cancers such that she received extensive chemotherapy (at Velindre Hospital) for these which included bowel cancer. This condition proved terminal and she passed away in Velindre in 2018. Throughout this extensive period of treatment we received periodic home visits from nurses and a doctor from City Hospice, who provided much needed help and advice.
Bereavement Counselling from City Hospice
Since that time I have received extensive bereavement counselling from City Hospice and the Counsellors have been my life line to a return to the new way of life necessitated by Carol’s passing. The counselling has been so effective that other people in the same situation met together for group therapy and this has continued informally to the present day in a group we call the Bereavement Friendly Group (BFG); this group has met in a variety of social settings and has given each one of us vital support in that we all start from the same sad beginning in the loss of a loved one. Hence we all feel that we owe a great debt to City Hospice in helping us all to see the way forward, even though we all get upset and find it too difficult to cope at times – but we are all there for each other!
Walking for Carol
The above situation has led to a number of us who are reasonably fit, to carry out volunteer work for City Hospice. And being reasonably fit myself I had no hesitation in determining to go on the ‘Sparkle Walk’ as a means of giving back to the hospice, as well as remembering Carol in a unique fashion with friends, family(hopefully) and neighbours. The prospect of the walk at night is particularly appropriate especially if it is starry and bright so we can all think of our loved ones being with us in spirit as we walk along the Taff.
I have been overwhelmed with the generosity of family, friends and neighbours in sponsoring me to carry out the walk. I know already that I will be accompanied by a number of them on the night, including BFG members. This is particularly poignant to me as I have no longer any family left in Cardiff – one son a GP in Oxfordshire and the other working for INEOS in London, so these members of BFG and Cardiff friends have become my ‘Cardiff Family’.
The promised and paid up total so far from all sources is an astounding £500. This is without approaching any local businesses which have indicated their willingness to contribute. I would like to think that we could reach four figures in time for the Sparkle Walk.
City Hospice is a vital component in the difficult journey we all undertake as a loved one develops serious medical conditions and so It would be wonderful for as many people as possible to sign up to support this venture in order to make a meaningful, sociable and exciting evening as a memorial to our lost love ones – who knows how many others in the Cardiff community will need their services in the future, particularly as the Hospice relies so much on volunteers and donations to help keep it going by serious fund raising each year.
Daisy Magill said: “I would just like to thank Tony so much for sharing his story with us. I often meet with the BFG group on Monday’s and it is so rewarding to see how many of them are keen to get involved and support events such as the Sparkle Walk. I’m really glad they have all decided to walk this together to support one another. It is really going to be a special night. If you would like to sponsor Tony you can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Tony-Olavesen
If you would like to register for the Sparkle Walk you can do this here: City Hospice Sparkle Walk