Sunrise to Remember: New fundraising event for St Barnabas House hospice in Worthing

Supporters of St Barnabas House hospice in Worthing will be walking through tree-lined paths, across fields, down rivers and along the beautiful coastline in the charity's new Sunrise to Remember fundraising event.

Some will walk in memory of a loved one on Saturday, June 25, some for their own sense of achievement and some just for fun with their family.

Stella Thompson, 49, and her husband, Keith, 55, from Worthing, will be joined by three colleagues from Nevalee Business Solutions on the 10km route. The Nevalee Flyers team will be setting off from Worthing Leisure Centre at 4.15am thinking of Stella's dad, Den, who is currently being cared for by St Barnabas, and her mum, Val, who was given end-of-life care at the hospice.

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George Lee, 23, the youngest member of the team, said the early morning start will be a challenge. "I’m either still in bed at 4am, or I might be coming in from a night out – but I’m not usually going out at that time,” he explained.

Stella and Keith Thompson with son Gary, Stella's dad Den and Charlotte

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Stella said she will find it emotional. Her mum was given a terminal diagnosis in 2017 and her dad was recently diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.

Stella said: "Mum sadly deteriorated much quicker than expected and she died in five weeks. At this difficult time, my dad, Den, was in shock, and St Barnabas House really helped him deal with everything through their bereavement support.

"Dad now needs ambulatory oxygen to help him breathe, which is a small portable oxygen cylinder, and he also needs quite a lot of assistance to walk and dop everyday activities."

Den visit the St Barnabas gym weekly and works with a physiotherapists there to help ease his pain.Stella added: "The Hospice at Home team are also regularly visiting Dad at home and I’m so thankful for them, they help us navigate the journey we are on together.

"Dad doesn’t wake up until quite late and I told him that we’d have finished the challenge and be home by the time he’s out of bed, and he laughed and said ‘well, don’t knock on my door on the way through’! I know he’s proud of us.”

To sponsor Stella and her team, visit www.justgiving.com/nevalee and for more information about the challenge, visit www.stbarnabas-hospice.org.uk