Katharina Hunter, from Maidenhead, takes part in our Sunflower Walk as a tribute to the care Thames Hospice gave her parents in their final days and weeks. She spoke to us about why she thinks you should take part, too.
“Mum died 16 years ago and my Dad nine years ago, but not a day goes by when I don’t think about them, love and miss them; the grief and longing to have them back even for just one day, never leaves me.
“If I walked a million miles it wouldn’t be enough to thank the Hospice for all the care and support they gave my parents and to us as a family, both during and after their deaths. My parents died at peace, in comfort and with dignity, surrounded by the people they loved most - what more can you ask for your loved ones in their final days?
“I take part in The Sunflower walk, not only in memory of my wonderful parents Mary and Jim, but also in recognition of everything the Hospice staff did for my them in their dying days. Also, to repay them, in some small way, by raising much-needed money to enable them to continue doing the amazing job of caring for those coming to the end of their lives; offering support to their families and making the worst possible scenario, the most comfortable and dignified experience that it can be.
“From the moment you arrive at The Sunflower Walk the atmosphere is buzzing; setting the scene for what is an emotionally charged day, filled with fun and laughter. People from all walks of life come together in memory of someone they have lost or are about to lose, supported by friends and family. It is an exceptionally well-organised day and one I feel very proud to be part of.
“Apart from the obvious health benefits of walking 13k, like being able to eat a whole chocolate bar guilt free, there so are many other reasons why you should register today:
Help raise money for an organisation which contributes so much to our local community and that needs your help to sustain and expand the excellent service it already provides
Unite in your grief and be part of a huge, happy, joyful day in memory of someone you love and who will never leave your heart
Anyone who has spent time at the Hospice will tell you about the devotion of the staff - they seem to have a bottomless pit of care, support, understanding and empathy and a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. They are experts.
Finally, do it for you - because there is nothing quite like the feeling of achievement and pride that you get when you walk over that finishing line!
I can’t wait to take part in the next Sunflower Walk; it is always a wonderful, emotion-filled day and I do honestly think of my parents with every step I take. I know they would be so proud and, apart from the opportunity of being able to raise funds for a great cause, I cannot tell you how much it helps with my grieving process; because on that occasion, more than any other, I know they are with me and that is priceless.”
Make a difference
We rely on the generosity of our amazing community, whose support enables us to provide the best possible end-of-life care for local people. It costs £12 million every year to keep our Hospice running - through charitable support we need to raise over 50% of the funds required annually to provide our services free of charge, 365 days a year, to the people who need us most.
We’ve never needed you, our wonderful supporters, more than we need you today. Please donate what you can to help keep hospice care available for those in desperate need.