Loraine Ball and family

Despite currently receiving chemotherapy for cancer, mum-of-three Loraine Ball has signed up to the Treetops Hospice Care Starlight Strut and is sharing her personal story to inspire others to join her.

Loraine, 63yrs, from Castle Donington, was diagnosed with cancer ten years ago and started coming to Treetops to meet with her doctor at the palliative care clinic which supports adults with a life-limiting illness.

With Treetops it always feels so positive – for us it’s been a bonus

For Loraine, the opportunity to meet her doctor to discuss her symptoms outside of the hospital setting is incredibly beneficial for her and her husband Robert:

“It’s lovely at Treetops and everyone makes you feel so welcome. When you arrive, the staff don’t treat you any different – nobody comes up to you and says ‘Oh, I’m sorry you’ve got cancer.’ They don’t even mention it and that makes a hell of a difference.

“Even though I’m very used to going to the hospital, I still don’t enjoy it whereas with Treetops, I look forward to it. I know I’m going to benefit by it. When you go and see your oncologist, you don’t know what they are going to say because we’ve had so many knockbacks over the years. With Treetops it always feels so positive.

“The doctor never makes you feel as though you’re ill. For us it’s been a bonus.  And we always come away feeling better in ourselves.”

You’ve got to be positive about things

Loraine’s two daughters, Sarah Sutton and Michelle Hemsley, are accompanying their mum on the ladies-only night walk which takes place on Friday 19 May:

“When Sarah first mentioned the Starlight Strut, I was a little bit concerned but I felt as though I wanted to do something that I would enjoy and I’ve come to the point now where I need to have something to look forward to. By doing this it’s helping me as much as it’s helping Treetops.

“I’ve had cancer for ten years now but I’m one of the lucky ones. I can still do things and there are still options for me. I have good and bad days so I make the most of the good days.

“You’ve got to be positive about things. It would be very easy to sit back or stay in bed but that’s not going to help you.

“I am lucky. We know it’s not curable but at the moment it’s treatable and while they can do that, I can cope with it. We’ve had to change a lot of things in our lifestyle and I depend on Robert for everything which is hard sometimes but we make the most of it.”

A chance for us to celebrate how positive mum is being

Sarah, 35yrs, also from Castle Donington, suggested the walk knowing how much her mum benefits from the charity:

“I don’t think people realise what amount of work goes on at Treetops. The walk is for a really good cause and a chance for us to celebrate how positive mum is being about it all and how’s she’s coping with it, and something for us to do together as a family.”

I want people to realise there is a life after cancer

By sharing her story, Loraine is hoping that others will come forward to take part in the walk:

“I want people to realise there is a life after cancer. Alright, it alters you and you have to rely on people so much and I’ve never had to do that. But strangely enough, the cancer has benefited me in a lot of ways because it brings you closer to your family. You’ve got to look at the positives.”

Those who wish to sponsor Loraine, Sarah and Michelle on the Starlight Strut can go to their JustGiving page.

The Starlight Strut is taking place on Friday 19 May starting at 10pm at the University of Derby. Those interested in taking part in the 5k or 10k sponsored walk through Derby city can register online.

Treetops Hospice Care provides nursing care and emotional support for adults, their families and carers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire free of charge. Services include Support and Information, a Day Care unit, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling and complementary therapy.