Two sisters have smashed their fundraising target and raised almost £6,000 for Havens Hospices which cares for their seriously-ill mum.
Lauren and Shelley Sipos completed Havens Hospices Great Pier Swim on 31st July, swimming 3.3km from Chalkwell to Jubilee Beach. After completing the swim they then held a fundraising event at The Castle Pub in Eastern Esplanade with live music, face painting, a photo booth, auction and a raffle. On Tuesday 20th December they visited Fair Havens Hospice in Westcliff, where their mum, Sue Porter, attends Day Care, to present a cheque for £5,790.94 and meet the nurses who care for her.
Sue, 58, from Southchurch, was diagnosed in October 2014 with Peritoneal Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the abdomen. In November 2015 the family, including Sue’s two daughter’s Shelley, 29 and Lauren 27, and Sue’s four grandchildren Frankie 10, Jaiden, eight, Remi, five and Tommy, three, were told nothing more could be done and doctors gave Sue two to three weeks to live.
Since February 2016 Sue has attended Day Care at Fair Havens and the care Sue has received there inspired her daughters, Shelley and Lauren, to fundraise for the charity.
“Mum really looks forward to her visits to Day Care. She’s made friends there and they do all sorts of activities, arts and crafts, receive treatments such as reflexology and generally have a good old natter! They also arrange days Mum can go to with a friend or family member, such as a recent spa day and a drink and canapé day, so she can spend some quality time with people she loves in a relaxed atmosphere.
“They offered for Mum to stay at the hospice for end of life care when she was given her prognosis in November, but thankfully she hasn’t needed that yet, but she knows it is available for her when she needs it. They are also in the process of getting her grandchildren support through their sibling support groups so that if the worst does ever come they have the support network in place to help them through. They have offered support for friends and family members too so they truly do care for the entire family, not just the patient.”
“We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended the Great Pier Swim and our fundraiser after and donated money. We had a wonderful turnout of family and friends and the pub was packed inside and out!
“We never thought a hospice would be something that would play a part in our lives. You never think it’s going to happen to you or your family but now it has we are truly thankful to Havens Hospices for everything they have done so far and will continue to do for us and most importantly, for our Mum.”
As well as raising money for Havens Hospices, Lauren and Shelley have also set up an online petition to raise awareness of Peritoneal Mesothelioma, the rare type of cancer their mum Sue has.
“There is a real need to raise awareness of Peritoneal Mesothelioma. It is a relatively rare condition caused by asbestos, however in the next 20 years or so people dying from this disease will increase due to the time it takes to manifest itself so we need to raise awareness of the disease itself as well as its symptoms.
“Our Mum was misdiagnosed for six years and therefore it became too late for her to have life lengthening surgery and we want to try and stop other people from being in the same situation. There is hardly any literature on the disease to be found in hospitals and there are currently no clinical trials so I have started a petition to raise awareness of the disease in both the healthcare profession and for public awareness to be raised so people can go to a healthcare professional if they feel concerned and also for the government to help fund clinical trials for this disease which is going to affect a growing number of people.”
Lauren and Shelley’s petition can be found here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/174372.
For more information or to take part in this year's Great Pier Swim, visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/greatpierswim2017