Sue’s Story

56-year-old Sue lives with her husband Lee, daughter Louisa, and her dachshund, Tiggs, who doesn’t leave her side. She has always been an active person, working five part-time jobs, including making and selling her own dog biscuits!  

So, it was especially cruel when Sue was diagnosed firstly with a rare, long-term condition that causes muscle weakness throughout the body and then bowel cancer two years ago.  

Despite being given the all-clear, the cancer spread to both lungs and Sue couldn’t have additional chemotherapy because of a severe reaction to those drugs. She was told there is no further treatment and was referred to Fair Havens.  

Sue has been supported by Fair Havens Hub for over a year, from Tai Chi to build strength, complementary therapy to help ease her anxiety to Therapy Through Nature which has made gardening accessible to her.  

She said, “I could not have got through all this without Fair Havens. I would just be at home. I would be lonely. I’m empowered through my care at Fair Havens. Although they want to make sure you’re OK, you’re treated like a ‘normal’ person. 

“It sounds weird, but when I come to Fair Havens, it’s the one place that I can forget I have cancer. Many people think a hospice is very unhappy, but we’re with like-minded people who support each other. It’s such a happy place.  

“Since I’ve been visiting Fair Havens, my attitude has changed. I feel positive which has made a huge difference not only for me but for my family too. 

“Fair Havens is part of our life now, and I couldn’t go on without them.  

Sue has thought about the end of her life and is hoping that her last days will be at Fair Havens.  

“You never think that you’ll be in this position, that you won’t be there for your family one day. So, with the help of Fair Havens, I’m trying to do the best I can to plan everything to make it easier for them. I know everyone here and I know I will get the best care. To be honest, I feel safe here.” 

The care that Sue receives is completely free of charge, which can only happen because of donations made by the local community. 

“When someone makes a donation, they are giving people like me our life back. They are giving us independence and that we can be part of something, rather than being different. Everyone should have the chance to have this type of care if they have an illness like cancer. They can see that life does go on.” 

To find out more about how you or someone you know would benefit from the care at Fair Havens, click here.

If you would like to donate to Fair Havens please click here.

Published in 2024

It’s like Fair Havens saved my life. I couldn’t have coped with any of this without the staff and volunteers here.