“When you think of the care my sister had, you just want to give back if you can”
This is Janet and Rachel’s story.
Janet Dwan, and her daughter Rachel, are back at Weldmar Hospicecare’s Inpatient Unit in Dorchester for the first time in ten years, since Janet’s sister Julie passed away.
They are preparing to take on the 26 mile route of our Jurassic Coast Challenge, and have come in to talk to us about the care Julie received here.
“It was August when Julie was here”, says Janet, “and the weather was really lovely. It meant so much to her, and to all of us, that her bed could be taken outside into the garden so that she could enjoy the sunshine and the flowers.”
Julie had been diagnosed with leukemia, and despite having six months in remission following a bone marrow transplant, the disease returned aggressively and she was given just weeks to live. It was then that Weldmar Hospicecare became involved, and Julie was admitted to the Inpatient Unit almost immediately, and spent her final days here. She was 54.
“It felt like she wasn’t just waiting to die”, says Rachel, “Weldmar made it feel so much better that that”.
“We knew that her last few days were spent as enjoyably as possible”, says Janet.
One thing that meant a lot to Julie was to have letters prepared for her husband, her children, and even a great-grandchild who was on the way but never had the chance to meet. A Weldmar volunteer came to see Julie, and helped her to write these letters, and took them away to be typed up and printed, and given back to Julie to give to those family members.
The family have continued to support Weldmar since then, and regularly donate to our Beaminster shop, and look forward to the emails they get saying how much their donations have raised. When they saw that we run the Jurassic Coast Challenge, they decided to mark the ten year anniversary of Julie’s care here by signing up to take part.
“We’re both really excited”, says Janet, “I have a dog so go out for walks regularly, but nothing as long as this so it will be a big challenge! I’ve been out for a couple of long walsk so far, and will do a few more as the weather gets better”.
“It’s going to be mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging”, adds Rachel, who says she’s started to go to the gym to build up her fitness, ready for the walk on Sunday 17th May. They will be joined by Rachel’s girlfriend Emma, and Janet’s sister, Jacqui.
“When you think of the care my sister had, you just want to give back if you can”, Janet tells us.
“Weldmar were so caring all the time, they couldn’t do enough for Julie, and for the family. The ambience of the place is lovely.”
Weldmar Hospicecare has to raise £18,000 a day to keep these free services going. You can support us by taking part on one of our events or challenges, by buying or donating at any of our charity shops, by playing our Lottery, or by making a one off or regular donation.