The Starlight Strut, now in its tenth year, is Derby city centre’s largest charity night walk. It is anticipated that thousands of pounds have been raised in sponsorship on the carnival-themed, annual walk complete with carnival drummers, warm up, DJ and disco.
Treetops, based in Risley, provides nursing care and emotional support for adults, their families and carers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
Treetops were literally there in our hour of need
Amongst those taking part for the first time was Emma Murdoch, 38, from Sawley. Emma was joined by a team of colleagues from Imperial Commercials where she is group HR manager:
“My grandma was diagnosed with bowel cancer and although she went through treatment, in 2016 her life came to an abrupt end. I knew she was suddenly very poorly – within hours she went downhill and became bed ridden.
“When I contacted Treetops, they offered to send a nurse to give me a break and sit with her. Unfortunately, she died half an hour before the Hospice at Home nurse turned up, but she took control of the situation, cleaned my grandma up and made her comfortable, and dealt with the undertakers. The support was invaluable.
“Just having the nurse there gave me peace of mind. Even though she was gone, I needed to know grandma was okay and the nurse gave us this reassurance. She enabled us to spend peaceful time with her until she was taken by the undertakers.
“The Treetops nurse had such an impact – I will never forget her. Treetops were literally there in our hour of need when no one else was. Although it was too late for my grandma, it was not too late to support us.”
Alison Thornhill, 59, from Melbourne, took part to complete a personal ’60 before 60’ challenge. She was joined by friends including Marvin Cooke, managing director of Toyota in Derby.
I’m full of joy and thankful for my life
Heather Young, 70, from Long Eaton started doing the Starlight Strut in memory of her sister, Catherine, who died in 2008 from oesophageal cancer. Towards the end of her life, she attended the Day Care Service at Treetops:
“I was diagnosed with having metastatic colon cancer and had two major surgeries taking away half of my liver and surgery on my bowel leaving me with a stoma. I was given the all clear last year, but in January I was unfortunately diagnosed with lung cancer.
“But I’m still here – I’m still alive and I’m having treatment again which will hopefully give me many more years to spend with my lovely big family! I’m full of joy and thankful for my life and for me, I may need Treetops care one day – you never know.”
Bringing awareness to good causes like Treetops
Walking for the fifth time was Jacqui Buxton, 68, from Bramcote whose parents were both supported by the hospice:
“My dad had Hospice at Home care during the day – nurses to sit with him while my mum came to the hospice to enjoy the art activities. Dad wanted to give her a break as he was that kind of person.
“I had breast cancer in 2002 and having recovered well, I like to contribute in bringing awareness to good causes like Treetops whenever I can.”
Every donation, no matter how big or small, would be fantastic
Lorraine Ray, Treetops events fundraising lead, was delighted with the success of the night:
“Our huge thanks to each and every person who’s come along tonight and supported Treetops. It’s been an amazing event – the atmosphere has been brilliant – and we know that everyone’s had great fun.
“The Starlight Strut is our biggest fundraising event of the year and helps us raise thousands of pounds for the hospice. The donations and sponsorship we receive means we can continue to provide all our services for free to people living with a life limiting condition across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
“It’s not too late to show support for everyone who’s taken part. You can donate online by heading to our Starlight Strut JustGiving campaign page. Every donation, no matter how big or small, would be fantastic.”
Treetops services include Support and Information, Wellbeing Space, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.