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Jude Wilcox ‘Hikes for Mike’ for third year running at night time walk

All Areas > Sport > Walking

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 13th September 2019, 12:30

Jude, second right, and the Hike for Mike team at the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice 2018 event. Jude, second right, and the Hike for Mike team at the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice 2018 event.

Gloucester mum Jude Wilcox is lacing up her walking shoes, donning her brightest clothes and putting on some dazzling lights to walk 10k under the stars in memory of her dad next month.

The 39-year-old mum of twins is walking Starlight Hike 2019 in memory of her dad, Mike Wilson, raising vital funds for other families like hers who need the expert and compassionate palliative care of Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.

Jude said: “My brave, full of character dad was diagnosed with cancer of the Oesophagus in October 2016. This was a massive shock to us and told with treatment he would have a year to live.

“He carried on with playing bowls, volunteering at the Soldiers Museum, being an amazing papa to my six-year-old twin boys; just his usual life.

“He confidently told all who he met, friends, family and strangers he was dying. He did not shy away from his cancer. He planned his funeral and even chose that we were to leave the funeral service to 'Dancing Queen'.
 
“He did get worse and things did slow down and we then discovered the cancer was also in his lungs.

“At the end of December we were first introduced to my dad's new consultant at Sue Ryder. He was amazing. He supported my mum regularly, emailing her, ringing her up as she had taken over full time care of my dad and all of his medical needs.

“He took my phone calls and answered my concerns and questions. We had someone who very quickly got to know us as a family and helped to support us through all of the pain and confusion we were going through.”

“My mum and I eventually got to breaking point caring for dad. We were so scared and worried about his weight loss and deteriorating body. We went to visit the Sue Ryder Hospice, they were so caring, so understanding and we knew this would be the best place for dad.

“A day later, off dad went to the hospice and they were just fantastic. We were welcomed with open arms at the most devastating moment of our lives. The hospice didn’t just see a patient they saw and cared for us as a whole family.

“Sadly, dad passed away early morning on Saturday 21st January 2107. We were with him, as he had wanted.

“I knew I had to channel my grief into something positive and I wanted to help others going through this too, so we started raising funds for the hospice.

“We reached our fundraising target of £1,000 for the hospice just six months after dad had passed away and we have continued supporting the hospice through taking part in Starlight Hike.

“This will be my third year of taking part in the event. Our team ‘Let’s Hike for Mike’ will all be dressed in neon and colourful lights as we walk.”

Jude will walk alongside hundreds of others on a marshalled 10K route around Cheltenham. Starting at St Edward’s Prep School in Charlton Kings with live music performances from Rock Choir, an energetic Clubbercise warm-up and uplifting party atmosphere.

The route takes walkers to the softly lit hospice grounds where there is time to remember loved ones by leaving a message on a wall of stars. 

Jude added: “My dad loved bright colours, music (especially Abba) and fun so for him the show will go on as I get my walking shoes on!”

You can donate to Jude’s Starlight Hike Challenge at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jude-Wilcox1

Or you can walk alongside Jude at Starlight Hike 2019 on Saturday 19th October by signing up at www.sueryder.org/leckhamptonslh or emailing leckhampton.events@sueryder.org

Other Images

Jude's dad, Mike, with Jude's twin sons.

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