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Lesley is calling on others to show their support for hospice

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 13, 2014

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A SOUTH Derbyshire widow is calling on other women in the county to take part in a dusk walk to raise money for a local hospice.

Lesley Stevens from Findern lost her husband Michael to bowel cancer in 2012. In 1998 he was told he had a brain tumour, which was treated successfully and had also overcome oesophageal cancer. However when it returned for a third time two years ago, doctors admitted that they could do no more to help him. When both Michael and Lesley went to see the consultant they were told he had six months to live.

Lesley dedicated her time to looking after Michael and as a carer herself, was capable of doing so. However after a district nurse discovered that she had been sleeping on the floor in Michael’s room for three weeks, the couple were put in contact with Treetops Hospice to receive further support.

Lesley said: “The first visit from a Treetops nurse was in the afternoon. I got to go out for lunch and a walk; it was a breath of fresh air. At home, the nurse gave Michael a foot massage to help him relax.

“They are a wonderful team of supportive ladies. There’s something special within them, something angelic. The most important thing for me was that, with the help of Treetops, I was able to get back to being Michael’s wife.”

She is now encouraging other women across South Derbyshire to take part in the Moonlight Walk, which is the charity’s flagship fund raising event. Held at dusk, it is a ladies-only sponsored event held in Derby. The inaugural walk took place in 2010 and since then 1,669 women have taken part, raising a total sum of £179,706.

Lesley first took part in the walk last year, 11 months after Michael’s death. She said: “It was awesome. It was the best experience of my life. There was such a wonderful atmosphere, it’s just ladies having fun. When we walked round by the Silk Mill, lots of men came out to hug and kiss their partners and wives who were walking. The whole event was all so well organised, it was perfect. I’m looking forward to doing it again in June.”

The walk, which includes both 5km and 10km routes, is being held on Friday, June 27 at 10pm. Anyone that wants to take part can do so by registering online at www.treetopshospice.org.uk/moonlight

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