Heidi patientMum-of-two Heidi, 47, fought breast cancer before and won. But after suffering with agonising back pain in 2013, she was told the disease had come back - and this time it had spread.

“I had breast cancer in 1997 but, luckily, I found the lump very early on and had it removed. I was only 27 at the time. When I found out I had cancer again, I was shocked. And they were no longer talking about curing it, just controlling it. That’s quite a big difference.

When the time comes, I want to die at Keech Hospice Care.

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When it was first suggested that I should come to Keech Hospice Care, I thought that meant I didn’t have long left. It was daunting but, as soon as I walked through the hospice’s door, my feelings changed.

My illness has made me think about where I want to die - and it’s at Keech Hospice Care. I think it will be better for my family and I would never want to die in a hospital. At Keech Hospice Care, I’m treated as an individual and not a patient or a set of symptoms.

Some people might think Keech Hospice Care is just where you come to die but it’s so much more than that. I come for the day and go home again. I have my blood tests taken at the Keech Palliative Care Centre, too, which is much nicer than having them done in a hospital because you’re not waiting for hours to see a stranger. It’s done by one of the friendly Keech nurses who I know and trust. I can also speak to a doctor at the hospice, which is so much easier than trying to get hold of a GP. If I need help with the pain, I can ring and speak to someone at any time - day or night.

“At Keech Hospice Care, I’m treated as an individual and not a patient or a set of symptoms.”

Heidi and Ange

My daughter Anja has also benefitted from having Kayleigh, Keech Hospice Care’s art therapist, visit her at her school. Having cancer is hard on the whole family and, after we found out my cancer had come back, Anja had a lot of questions and was having a few behavioural issues as she struggled to come to terms with what it all meant. I don’t think people realise that Keech Hospice Care is out and about in homes, schools and hospitals, caring for adults, children and their families. Kayleigh went to Anja’s school every week and it made a huge difference in helping her deal with some of her frustrations.

Keech is not just there for the end; this wonderful charity is here for however long my family and I need it.”

When it seems as if nothing will be the same again, Keech Hospice Care is there, free of charge. But we receive only 70% of our funding for the Keech Palliative Care Centre from the NHS. We rely on the generosity of our supporters to continue making the difference when it matters the most. Will you help us help more people like Heidi? Call us to find out more on 01582 707940 or email letmehelp@keech.org.uk

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