Having someone listen means the world.
Every year, thirty per cent of the people St Catherine’s Hospice cares for have a diagnosis other than cancer. Thanks to the local community’s support, St Catherine’s is able to help people living with a variety of life-limiting illnesses. People like 49 year-old Christine Bryant, who has Cystic Fibrosis. Here, Christine shares how the hospice has helped her to cope.
“I remember when I first heard the words St Catherine’s Hospice I thought, ‘why do I need to go there?’ I’m not dying, but the hospice can offer support even before you’re at the end of your life. I’m living day-to-day, waiting for a double lung transplant, but I’ve got a positive outlook. I have too many places to go and too many things to do to go anywhere yet.
St Catherine’s has helped me cope with my illness better
I attend the Living Well group at the Day Hospice, and it’s been good to meet people in similar situations. It’s given me an outlet and a chance to make friends. I also enjoy the complementary therapies by the volunteers. They’re very relaxing! I have acupuncture, which helps with my pain, meditation and reflexology. Whenever my pain gets very bad during the week, I just think I only have to wait until I go to St Catherine’s and I’ll be helped.
The hospice has given me somewhere to come and chill out
Having conversations around the end of my life and talking to people who have similar questions around the end of their life has helped me a lot. I can’t speak to my carer, my Mum or my brother, so those conversations have taken the pressure off me. That’s important, as with my Cystic Fibrosis, stress can make me ill. If I wasn’t coming to the hospice I’d feel more apprehensive and I’d bottle things up. Having people to talk to that understand what I’m going through and can lend me an ear means the world! I’m really pleased to be coming here, and I’m just sorry that more people in our local community can’t as it’s been such a help for me.
It’s important we all take care of each other where we can
It’s the point of life. Sometimes people just need someone to listen. They don’t need you to fix anything. Encouraging words alone can help. Places like St Catherine’s give me that. They give me that encouragement to live another day.”
For every person like Christine who St Catherine’s helps to cope, there are two other people struggling to cope alone – your support can change that. There’s still spaces left for the Ride Reigate 25k route. Please consider taking on Ride Reigate for your local hospice. Or to make a donation please visit: www.stch.org.uk/donate