barbara and andrew's story

In 2010 Caroline Newman’s mum, Barbara, was diagnosed with cancer in her nose. Shortly after a tumour was found in Barbara’s stomach and Cancer was then found in her tear ducts, eyebrow, breast and later spread to her spleen, liver, bones and brain. Barbara died at her home on 20th November 2013 and received care by Fair Havens Hospice at Home. 

Caroline’s dad, Andrew, had renal cancer for 16 years. Shortly after Barbara died the Cancer became a mass in his kidneys and spread to his lungs, lymph nodes, spine and brain. On 6th November 2015 he died at Fair Havens Hospice. 

Caroline has since set up her own fundraising group with two friends called The Havens Trio. They have held several successful quiz’s and a comedy night, raising over £4,000 so far.

"Mum had some chemo and it just went downhill. The Oncologist said they were stopping the treatment on her stomach so she could focus on other ones. The only way I can describe it is role reversal, I was the adult and she was the child. I was having to sit there and take it all in and make the best decision for her.

After mum died I went to bereavement counseling at Fair Havens. I didn’t want to go, I thought it was a sign of weakness but after everything that had happened everyone around me said I needed it. The first visit was the hardest. You don’t have to open your heart up but there’s so much you need to say and the more sessions you go to it does get easier. The counselor didn’t judge me and I felt she understood where I was coming from. 

I phoned Fair Havens every day to see if they had a bed for my dad – I didn’t want him to die in hospital. It was hard for me to understand why I was going through it all again so soon after my mum died - it was a huge weight lifted when he went to Fair Havens.

The care that Fair Havens gave to both my parents was truly phenomenal and without the doctors, nurses, and in fact all the staff, as a family I’m not sure how we would have coped.

I have now lost both my parents and both were cared for in one way or another by Havens Hospices and that’s why I decided to start fundraising for them. Because without fundraising, families like mine wouldn’t have received the care and support we did.” - Caroline

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