Maureen Wareing lost her husband Nigel to what doctors described as a ‘rarer than rare’ condition – and now she’s joining with hundreds of others to celebrate the lives of their loved ones who have passed away.
Maureen is helping launch Pendleside Hospice’s 2019 Light Up A Life Appeal and a video telling her family’s story and how the hospice reached out to help will be shown at the Light Up A Life service in the hospice’s grounds on Sunday, December 22.
Every year thousands of people dedicate a light to their loved ones – who don’t need to have had any connection with the hospice – and their name will be added to Pendleside’s Book of Remembrance.
All the lights are illuminated at a big switch on at the Christmas service which will see young actors from Basics music youth theatre group and opera star Grace O’Malley sing.
Maureen said: “I will be supporting the Light Up A Life Appeal to celebrate the life of my wonderful husband Nigel who died from a rare form of skin cancer.
“Words cannot express what Pendleside did for me and Nigel and the way they looked after him twice as an inpatient for symptom control, and later as a day patient for psychotherapy and complementary therapies.
“Also, seven months after Nigel passed away my mum Monica Atherton was cared for as an inpatient for two weeks before she died.”
Maureen, who works for the NHS as an assistant practitioner in the Rapid Assessment and Community Rehabilitation Team in Blackburn, added: “Pendleside is a remarkable place. For both Nigel and my mum the support and loving care given by the staff surpassed expectation.”
Nigel, 53, a health and safety officer, suffered a rare genetic condition called Gorlin Syndrome and fought cancer for 30 years. In his last five years he underwent hours of surgery as it spread to major organs.
When more surgery wasn’t an option he trialled a drug from America which he initially responded to but in time cancer returned to his lungs and later his bones and abdomen.
As a thank-you to Pendleside Maureen raised £8,617 by organising a dinner and dance in Nigel’s memory at Turf Moor.
Light Up A Life last year raised £108,000. While it costs more than £4million a year to run the hospice’s services Pendleside receives less than £1million from NHS funding. The remainder is raised by the generous donations of Burnley and Pendle people.
To sign up for Light Up A Life and make a donation people can either 1) go to www.pendleside.co.uk/light-up-a-life , 2) Collect and fill in a leaflet from any of Pendleside’s charity shops or reception, or 3) Ring fundraisers on 01282 440140.