Buckley cancer patient Linda smashes her fundraising challenge for caregiver
A mother of one from Flintshire, North East Wales who challenged herself to undertake a sponsored walk has broken through her fundraising target, despite having to change her challenge on doctors’ orders.
Linda Hughes, 55 of Buckley, near Mold had planned to walk 91 steps – the length of her garden – twenty times, but a change in her chemotherapy treatment meant she was no longer strong enough to sustain such a walk. Linda opted for a sponsored head shave dressed as Wonder Woman instead as doctors told her it was likely she would lose her hair following treatment.
Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and secondary breast cancer in 2019 that had spread to her hip and spine. In April she was told the cancer had spread to the base of her skull.
She is being treated at the Shooting Star unit in the Wrexham Maelor Hospital and has also opted to manage her symptoms as an in-patient at Nightingale House Hospice for two weeks.
She said: “The care I have received since this latest development in my cancer treatment has been second to none and I want to give something back both here at Nightingale House and at the Shooting Star unit.
Twenty lengths of my garden doesn’t sound a lot but it would have been for me at the moment.
I went into hospital recently expecting my doctors to tell me they would not give me any more treatment but when they said I was to have more chemotherapy I could not believe it.
At that point I thought I have to give something back to these people who are helping me.
As the sponsored walk is off the cards and it is likely I am going to lose my hair anyway I thought I’d change my challenge to a charity head shave.”
The medical administrator, who works for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, upped her original sponsorship target from £1500 to £2000. And the donations continue to flood in. So far Linda has raised over £2,100.
Linda, who has a 12-year-old son Nathan and is a parent representative for Buckley Town Colts FC, where Nathan is a team member says she is not a ‘what ifs’ sort of person and is embracing life. “I don’t know how long I have left but the 12 years I have had with Nathan have been the happiest for me. I am determined to continue to fight for more time with my son.
Nightingale House is truly a special place. I opted to come here to manage my lymphoedema following a spell in hospital.
Nothing is too much trouble for the staff and they will sit and listen to me even if I think I’m talking rubbish.
They listen to the stories of my life and how Nathan was my miracle baby at the age of 43 when I was told it was unlikely I would have children.
I thought I was on the menopause and then found out I was eight weeks pregnant. These stories and Nathan make me the person I am and the Nightingale team give me the time to listen without judgement.”
Nightingale House Challenge Events Co-ordinator Bethan Scott said: “We are in awe of Linda`s determination to complete this incredibly brave challenge.
I have read many of the comments from supporters on Linda`s JustGiving page and the words inspirational, brave, strong, amazing and positive appear throughout.
Thank you and the very best of luck, from everyone at Nightingale House Hospice.”
Linda added: “I hope more people will donate so that I can support the medical teams that have helped my health improve in the last few weeks and give me that little bit longer to spend with my beautiful boy, who is my absolute hero.
I am overwhelmed by the amount raised already and thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.”
If you would like to support Linda you can donate via her JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/linda-fallding?utm_term=RDyM7ajRq
If you have a family member with a life-limiting illness and in need of palliative care such as cancer, heart failure or neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease and are already known to the district nursing general practice teams and struggling with un-controlled symptoms of pain and sickness you can ring the Nightingale House Hospice Triage Admissions team on 01978 316800 between 9am – 4pm, Monday – Friday (except Bank Holidays).
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