"My mum, Tess was an amazing woman: a mother, a grandmother and a wonderful friend. She was very fit and never unwell, until she was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2009. She was admitted to the hospice three months later and spent her last two weeks being cared for and looked after by angels who couldn't do enough for her and the rest of the family.
It was my mum's wish that we give something back to the hospice, but it was also our way of saying thank you for the help and care we received. It helped with the grieving process, keeping mum’s memory alive by talking and thinking about her while we planned events.
In May 2010 we ran our first 10K with friends, then organised a football memorial game and a tribute dance. The dance has been so successful, we now have one every year, attended by more than 200 friends, family and supporters.
The family, including my brother and sisters Angela Smyth, James Smyth, Tracy Docherty, and our dad James Smyth, really enjoy fundraising for the hospice and it gives us so much satisfaction to hand in more money every year and see mum's tribute fund grow. Our goal is to raise £100,000 and we are well on the way with more than £43,000 raised.
I would encourage any family to start a tribute fund as it gives everyone a goal, a focus to work towards and in doing so helps you all remember your loved one while doing something worthwhile for a great cause. The money helps new patients and families who are going through the same experiences. You never know who will need the help of the hospice in the future."
- Clare Cannon