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Woman takes part in 24 mile hike to raise money for Havering Hospice

Laura is taking part in the trek to support Saint Francis Hospice 

A woman from Southend is taking part in a 24 mile hike to raise money for Saint Francis Hospice.

Laura Butler, 37, will be trekking across three of Yorkshire’s highest peaks on Saturday, 14 August, in memory of her dad who was cared for by the Havering Hospice before he passed away in July last year.

The challenge involves hiking 24 miles and climbing up to 5,000 feet in one day.

Laura will pass the famous Ribblehead Viaduct, rocky terrain and climb thousands of steps along the way.

“I have always wanted to run the London Marathon but I have accepted running isn’t for me,” said Laura.

“I have tried to complete the Couch to 5k so many times and always given up. I run a business and have a family so finding the time to train is difficult.

“So when I saw the Three Peaks Challenge, I thought this was something exciting I could do for the Hospice.”

The charity supports families and patients with life-limiting illnesses including cancer heart, lung or motor neurone disease.

Laura’s dad, Denis, who lived in Romford, was under the care of the charity for a few days before he died.

Laura is trekking in memory of her dad, Denis

Denis became poorly over Christmas in 2019 with a chest infection.

He had recovered from lung cancer many years earlier and had a lung removed but after several stays in hospital, a scan revealed Denis had a shadow on his lung.

Denis caught Covid-19 while in hospital and despite overcoming the virus, his health continued to decline in and late July, his devastated wife and daughter Laura were told he had just a week to live.

“We were referred to Saint Francis Hospice and Julie was the first lady from the Hospice at Home team to arrive at our family home,” said Laura.

“She was just unbelievable – she was only with us for two days and she made us all feel so safe.

“We had so much trust in her. We had never been in this situation before and she helped us to understand what was happening with Dad and what to expect.

“She even stayed with us after her shift ended because she didn’t want to leave us on our own – I think that is just amazing.

“Andy, the lady who took over from her was just as great. She was only with us for a few hours as my dad died that night. Once again she stayed over her time to help dress Dad, help with the paperwork and wait till the funeral directors arrived.

“These ladies may have had kids waiting for them, be a wife or have had plans, but they made us their priority.

“What they did for my dad and our family, means so much to us.

“Climbing three peaks in Yorkshire is the least I can do to support the Hospice for all that they have done for our family.

“My Dad’s motto was, ‘never give up’ and that’s going to keep me going through this trek when it gets tough and my legs and feet get sore.”

With 25% of annual running costs provided by the NHS, the Hospice relies on donations to keep afloat.

Anyone wanting to donate, can head to the Saint Francis Hospice website.

Alternatively, if anyone would also like to take part in the challenge, more information can be found here.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM


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