East Lancashire Hospice | Covering Blackburn, Darwen, Accrington and Clitheroe areas

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Sisters' ball in memory of parents

Three sisters who lost both their parents to cancer within a year will hold a ball to raise hospice funds.

The mother of Victoria, 31, Rachel, 29 and Joanna, 27, Carol,  was diagnosed with a brain tumour around the age of 40 and was cared for by husband Anthony and their girls. But during her treatment in June 2013, the family suffered a huge blow when their Dad Anthony, 58, a former butcher on Blackburn market was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

Victoria said the person they looked to for support now needed to be cared for himself: “I feel like the hospice saved us. We were caring for 2 parents and it was hard. But the hospice were there to provide the support to Dad and us. We’d never been to the hospice before and were worried about taking Dad there. But he felt comfortable and we were relieved with the way he took to it.”

Carol lost her fight in November 2013 and Rachel said that after their Mum died, their Dad never spoke about losing her. She said: “It was difficult to talk about losing Mum when Dad was going through cancer too. But as soon as he got to the hospice he really opened up and we could talk about it. We hadn’t had time to deal with losing Mum but the hospice helped us deal with that while taking care of Dad.”

Victoria added that all the staff made it easier for the family: “The doctors took the time to explain everything and answer any questions or concerns we had and even the cleaners were so helpful. Volunteers were always around too and people were always popping in to see Dad so he wasn’t on his own. It was 24/7 care which was what Dad needed.

“If Dad had used the hospice before Mum died, we’d have wanted Mum to go in too. Because she had a brain tumour for so long, she had planned what she wanted and always wanted to be at home. But having the hospice there for Dad made it so much easier for us all.

“We wanted to do a ball to show how much we appreciated the hospice’s help.”

Hospice fundraiser Kimberley Hall said the women are inspirational: “Victoria, Rachel and Joanna have done an incredible job of selling all 340 tickets for their ball in memory of their mum and dad. It’s bound to be an emotional night but they’re keen for it to be a fun celebration. They now need help sourcing raffle prizes for the event on October 3.”

Individuals or companies who can provide a raffle prize can call our fundraising team on 01254 287012.