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Lincoln carer backs charity onesie walk

Her mothers’ terminal brain tumour is the reason Lincoln resident Jane Lowe is backing the St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice onesie walk.

Jane (40) says she fully supports St Barnabas’ fundraising efforts and asks other residents to do so too due to the care the local charity have given her mother.

In 2002, Jane’s mother Shirley Farquhar was diagnosed with a Meningioma non-cancerous brain tumour. She underwent surgery and the tumour was successfully removed.

In 2010, doctors found the tumour had returned, resulting in a second yet successful operation.

Undetected tumour

However in 2012, the tumour returned again and in surgery a second undetected tumour was discovered.

Jane said: “Due to the placement of the tumour the root was unable to be removed and in April 2013 mum was told that the tumour had started to grow, the prognosis was not good – medically there was nothing more they could do.”

From there, her mother began to have intermittent seizures from damage caused by the surgery and growth of the tumour, which affected her mobility.

After a serious seizure in October 2013, she was admitted for the final time to Lincoln County Hospital. It was here St Barnabas began its help.

Jane added: “Mum wasn’t in a good way, the tumour was continuing to grow and the seizures had started to take their toll, resulting in a loss of the remaining movement in her upper and lower body. Mum had always been adamant that when the time came she wanted to be at home surrounded by her family.

“A friend of my sister suggested we contact St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, as they would support our wish for mum to return home. Until that point we had naively thought that St Barnabas was only able to support families with cancer, it is regrettable we weren’t aware sooner.

“St Barnabas have been by our side ever since. They were instrumental in getting everything in place so that mum could leave the hospital and return home to us.”

“The Hospice at home team have provided much needed support and, although their primary focus is mum, they take the time to look after the whole family. Their visits are determined by Mum and what kind of day she is having; on the days they don’t come out they phone instead, just to check we are all okay.”

Jane now lives with her mother as her full-time carer, with her two sons aged nine and 13, leaving behind her job as a social worker.

Throughout the difficult time though, St Barnabas staff have been on hand to support Jane in caring for her mother.

“I can hardly put into words how invaluable St Barnabas has been,” she said “I really can’t praise them enough. The nursing team have treated us all with such sincere and genuine compassion whilst all the while ensuring Mum’s dignity.

“They help to normalise an otherwise sensitive situation by sharing this journey with us, from the tears to the laughter.

“Going through something like this is highly emotive, stressful and at times isolating but this is all alleviated by being able to talk to the team who fully understand our situation. You don’t have to keep explaining yourself.

“It really is important that the community continues to support St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice because this organisation and these people are invaluable.”

Extra support

She added: “Following another seizure after Christmas mum’s health has begun to deteriorate and we know it is now only a matter of time until mum leaves us.

“I know that St Barnabas will be there for us all when it happens and that in itself is reassuring. It is because of St Barnabas that mum is getting the one thing she really wanted; to spend what little time she has left at home surrounded by her family.”

Jane will be taking part in the One Night in a Onesie 10k walk on Saturday June 7 as part of a team effort called the Shirley Girlies. Walking with her will be sister Sharon, niece Beth and close family friend Charlotte.

Already the team have raised 69% of their fundraising goal, but can still be supported on their Just Giving page.

Last year, 1,000 people took part in the night walks across Lincolnshire, raising over £55,000 for St Barnabas.

The charity is hoping to break a world record attempt at Yarborough Leisure Centre for most people in one place wearing a onesie.

You can sign up for the One Night in a Onesie walk online on the St Barnabas Hospice website.