A mum from Crawley is trekking across the Great Wall of China in memory of her daughter and to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice.
Diane Pierce is one of 34 people making the trek in May.
She said: “My daughter, Lauren, was referred to St Catherine’s Hospice by Hammersmith Hospital with Idiopathic Arterial Pulmonary Hypertension.
“St Catherine’s community nurses looked after her while she was at home before she spent the last 10 weeks of her life in the hospice. I’d always thought a hospice was a sad, dark, gloomy place that people went to die.
“When I came to the hospice I couldn’t believe how wrong I’d been. St Catherine’s was peaceful, warm, dignified and friendly. Staff and patients were smiling and after seeing and talking to members of the hospice team my opinion completely changed. I knew then why it was so important to Lauren to be at St Catherine’s.
“During Lauren’s last months we were completely supported as a family.”
Diane said before she passed away, Lauren asked all her friends and family to raise as much money for St Catherine’s as they could because they “gave her, her life and body back”.
Diane said when she heard about the trek to China she knew she had to do it.
She said: “It’s totally out of my comfort zone but I know Lauren will be really proud and walking every step of the way with me.
“Whenever I get tired, knowing she’s there will help keep me going. A dear friend of mine, Claire, is also doing the trek. It’s a big challenge for her as well and I’m looking forward to the last day when we can look at each other and say, we really did this and we did it for Lauren.
St Catherines Hospice costs around £6.5 million a year to run. They only get a third of their funding from the government so the rest has to be raised by the fundraising team and public
At the moment the hospice can only look after one in three people who need its care but everyone has the right to pass with dignity. Terminally ill patients need facilities like St Catherine’s so they can be pain free, safe, and cared for.
To find out how to make a donation visit www.stcatherines.co.uk