John Michael is 42 years old and lives in Birstall with his wife Nadine and two children Jack (11) and Esmay (9). In October John’s Mum came into LOROS to be cared for and died two days later. Just three weeks later John and his family bravely took part in Run Leicester, completing the half marathon and raising over £3,000 for LOROS Hospice. Here’s his story.
“Since meeting Nadine, we have always tried to support LOROS as much as possible. Nadine’s Gramps sadly passed away in LOROS in 2001 but the love and support they gave her and her family at the time was second to none and so LOROS has always been special for her. We regularly give donations to the local shop in Birstall and over the years have taken part in numerous events to raise money for LOROS including Twilight Walks, Tower Runs and bike rides to Skegness.
Then last year my own Mum, Jennie, was diagnosed with lymphoma. Mum only spent two days in LOROS but these final two days of being cared for made all the difference as she was made comfortable, shown so much love, support and respect and it also meant that my dad could be by her side as her husband as opposed to being her carer.
Through friends and family we already knew how great LOROS was but even so the way Mum was treated still exceeded expectations. I didn’t feel apprehensive coming to the Hospice like lots of people probably do as we knew it wasn’t a scary place. I just felt how loving, caring and respectful everyone was. There were smiles on all faces all the time which gives you that bit of comfort during a very difficult time.
Our extended family are all keen on keeping fit and since lockdown have become more involved in long distance running. We all decided to enter Run Leicester and try and raise some money for LOROS well before my Mum went in however with her being cared for by LOROS in her final days, it made it all the more important to raise as much money as possible.
From our immediate family there was myself, my wife, my sister Alex, sister-in-law Della and brother-in-law Matthew. In addition, my Dad David and son Jack were marshals for the section on London Road towards the start and then on New Walk towards the end. It was a very emotional day as it was just over three weeks since my mum passed away. There were times towards the end when it was hard work, but you had to dig deep and push on because my Mum would be looking down on us cheering us on. Crossing the finish line for all of us was a mixture of emotions – ecstasy, relief, satisfaction and also a few tears.
As a family we cannot praise LOROS highly enough for the work that they do. Everyone there is welcoming, caring, supportive, kind and compassionate and the little time we spent there made all the difference. It is hard when there are so many worthwhile charities to support however we all know of someone whose family has been able to take advantage of the fantastic services LOROS provide both as an inpatient and outpatient. You never know when your own family made need their help in the future.
Through the fantastic support of our friends and family, we were able to raise over £3,000 via our Just Giving page. In addition, we received nearly £1,000 in donations at Mum’s funeral service, which will also be going to LOROS as well.
We have all said that we will definitely sign up for Run Leicester 2023 and it will probably become an annual event for us all. My son Jack is even going to running the 10k race this year to raise some money too.
Since we last shared this John has had more reason to support LOROS after his cousin, Debra, died in February this year. This has given John even more reason to fundraise.
If you’d like to sign up to Run Leicester this October, you can enter here.