Kate Parker's Hospice fundraising - East Cheshire Hospice

Kate Parker’s Hospice fundraising

Running has been the best medicine for Dr Kate Parker after losing her husband John four years ago.

Pounding the streets has seen Kate raise more than £8,000 for East Cheshire Hospice where he spent his final days.

John, an apprentice jeweller, died from bowel cancer aged 41, two years after diagnosis.

Kate, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, said: “I find running has really helped with my grief which is probably why I’ve chosen to do that as a fundraiser.

Dr Kate Parker and late husband John.  

“John and I would run together. He was taller and faster than me, so I couldn’t always keep up with him.

“While he was ill, I found it helped deal with such a difficult diagnosis and managing to look after him.

“The last few months of his life were tough so it helped me cope. Sometimes I’d run along the street crying my eyes out, but I didn’t really care and found it therapeutic.”

John received support from the charity’s Hospice @Home team before he was admitted as an inpatient.

Kate, a Macclesfield resident since 2016, said: “The Hospice were extremely helpful managing his pain during his final days. I don’t think I’d have managed at home.

Kate with daughter Willow after a fundraising run.

“We decided it was probably better he didn’t die at home to avoid leaving memories that would have been difficult to manage for our children.”

Daughters Jess and Hannah were in their early teens when their father died, while sister Willow was 16 months old at the time. She is now five.

Kate said: “I was midway through pregnancy when John was diagnosed. Having a baby while he was undergoing cancer treatment was quite a unique experience though a good distraction for both of us.

“For John and myself to bring up Willow together, even while he was ill, was incredibly special for us.”

Kate has undertaken the last three Manchester 10k runs, the last two with partner Max, a fellow fundraiser. John’s running friends from Poynton were also an inspiration.

Running for charity … Kate and partner Max.

She said: “It’s a no-brainer really. I’m aware the Hospice isn’t funded by the NHS and relies mostly on public money for funding.

“I’m always a bit bemused by that and can’t believe that it’s not properly funded.

“I felt it was more important to fundraise for the Hospice because I can’t imagine how it would have been in those last few days if we had not been able to go there.”

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