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Dagenham friends walk 14 miles to Tower Bridge to raise funds for Saint Francis Hospice

PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 August 2020

Dagenham friends Marion Tomlin and Debbie Nun raised more than �1,100 for Saint Francis Hospice through a sponsored walk. Picture: SFH

Dagenham friends Marion Tomlin and Debbie Nun raised more than �1,100 for Saint Francis Hospice through a sponsored walk. Picture: SFH

Archant

Two women walked from Dagenham East station to Tower Bridge to raise funds for a cause close to their hearts.

Marion Tomlin on Tower Bridge at the end of the fundraising walk. Picture: SFHMarion Tomlin on Tower Bridge at the end of the fundraising walk. Picture: SFH

When lockdown rules were adjusted to allow exercise with people from different households, Dagenham friends Marion Tomlin and Debbie Nunn decided to do the sponsored walk for Saint Francis Hospice.

They walked non-stop for six hours – what should have been a 12 miles turned into 14 after some wrong turns - and raised a £1,155 through their Just Giving page.

The pair have been raising funds for Saint Francis Hospice since 2012, after the charity cared for Marion’s husband Chris.

“It’s the little things they did that go such a long way and stick in your mind,” Marion said.

Dagenham friends Marion Tomlin and Debbie Nun raised more than �1,100 for Saint Francis Hospice through a sponsored walk. Picture: SFHDagenham friends Marion Tomlin and Debbie Nun raised more than �1,100 for Saint Francis Hospice through a sponsored walk. Picture: SFH

“It’s hard to explain how you feel when someone you love is given a terminal diagnosis; the calmness and tranquillity of Saint Francis Hospice were what we needed.”

Chris found out he had kidney cancer at the age of 51 and was given only three years to live.

Determined to help others during his treatment, he underwent clinical trials after his kidney was removed.

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Chris also began visiting Pemberton Place, the hospice’s social hub for people living with life-limiting illnesses, where he would paint pictures in art therapy classes and gift them to Marion.

As he became more poorly, Chris insisted that someone else take his place at Pemberton Place.

He underwent another operation to remove a lung as the cancer spread, before become an inpatient at the hospice’s ward.

During his two months at the hospice, Marion never left Chris’ side and stayed with him in their private room every night until he passed, aged 54.

“The nurses gave their all for him — and me,” Marion said.

“The day Chris died, they washed him, dressed him, and made him comfortable.

“They treated him with so much dignity.”

Saint Grancis Hospice provides care and support free of charge to more than 4,000 people across Barking and Dagenham and surrounding boroughs.

To support the charity’s urgent appeal, visit www.sfh.org.uk/nurse to sponsor a nurse.


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