Staff and vols launch Starlight Strut

Local charity Treetops Hospice Care has launched its annual sponsored walk with staff and volunteers from across the charity strutting their stuff in a short video.

The Starlight Strut, formerly known as the Moonlight Walk, is taking place on Friday 19 May and attracts hundreds of women to walk a 5k and 10k route through Derby city at night, raising money for the hospice.

Join the Starlight Strut

The video, which is featured on the charity’s Facebook page and website, includes footage of staff and volunteers dancing and encouraging others to join the walk which last year raised over £55,000 for the hospice.

Treetops provides nursing care and emotional support for adults, their families and carers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire free of charge.

The Starlight Strut starts at 10pm – the same time that Treetops Hospice at Home nurses begin their shifts supporting patients in their homes.

Join the Starlight Strut

Whatever I needed, people were there for me.

Linda Bennett, 50, from Ripley, contacted the Hospice at Home service when her husband Eamonn, 57, was diagnosed with cancer in 2015:

“Eamonn was one of those guys that lived life to the full – he loved life and did everything he could. He loved scooters, skiing and partying and he had a lot of friends.

“In December 2015, Eamonn was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He had his thyroid removed and everything was fine and he went back to work.

“Then in July 2016 he started getting vision problems. He had a scan and it was a tumour on the right hand side of his brain. They did a biopsy and it was a glioblastoma, a really aggressive kind.

“Eamonn didn’t want to know anything about the outcome, he just wanted to get better. We wanted to get a second opinion so we saw other doctors, but the diagnosis was always the same.”

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The nurses were amazing. It made such a difference.

Linda and Eamonn decided to get married in September but within a week of coming home from honeymoon, Eamonn’s condition worsened and he went into hospital.

“From coming home from hospital, Eamonn pretty much never left his bed. I was always adamant that I didn’t want help, but then I started to realise that I couldn’t do it all on my own.

“It was hard. Because it was a brain tumour, Eamonn couldn’t remember what was happening or who had just visited him. He never forgot any of his friends’ names or anything like that, but he wouldn’t know what time it was or what was going on. It was hard to explain to him, especially through the night.

“Treetops Hospice at Home nurses started coming in November and from day one, everyone was amazing. They explained everything that was going on and they did whatever Eamonn wanted. They interacted with him all the time and if he wanted to stay up all night talking, then that’s what they’d do.

“Eamon had no family and he was very dependent on me. I was worried about leaving him in the night but the nurses were amazing, so I was able to sleep. Whatever I needed, people were there for me. The help was there and it made such a difference.”

Join the Starlight Strut

Moonlight Walk 2016

Every penny raised makes a big difference

Head of fundraising, Jennifer Sheehy, explained how important the event is for the hospice:

“We provide all our services for free to the local community and so we need to raise over £3 million each year to do so.

“Last year, our Hospice at Home team provided over 35,000 hours of nursing care and each overnight nursing shift costs just over £300, so every penny raised for the charity makes a big difference and means we can support even more people just like Linda and Eamon, in the future.

“Whether you want to take part as a way to remember someone special or simply want to have a fun night with your family and friends – we’d love for you to join us for an incredible evening.”

Treetops services are available free of charge and include Support and Information, a Day Care unit based in Risley, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling and complementary therapy.

Join the Starlight Strut

Those interested in taking part in the Starlight Strut can register online.  An early bird discount ends at midday on Friday 21 April with adult tickets at £10 (normal price £15).  Teenagers (12-17 yrs old) £10.

Starlight Strut