Phoebe's story

My name is Phoebe and I took on 11 Marathons in 11 days to raise money for Dove House. I am a confident runner, but 26.2 miles each day for 11 consecutive days was a huge challenge.

My Grandad, who was such a great person, was all set to go on a fabulous trip to Australia but after a cough that just wouldn’t go we persuaded him to get it checked out before he went. Grandad had an X-ray at hospital and that very same day was diagnosed with lung cancer. This was in January and by April he had died. He never made it to Australia. As a family we were devastated, it was such a shock.

A couple of years later, my dad, who is my rock, was also diagnosed with terminal esophagus cancer which then spread to his stomach, liver, and kidneys. Treatment managed to shrink the other cancers but the cancer in his esophagus remained aggressive. Unfortunately, Dad then developed a brain tumor.
Dad has been coming to the hospice for outpatient appointments with one of the doctors. It has helped him so much. We don’t know what the journey ahead looks like for us or how much time we have left together but Dad has expressed that he would like to spend his final days at Dove House. I think visiting the hospice has made it so much easier for us. It has taken some of that worry away and given me especially, a chance to ask questions that I needed answers to. I am the type of person who needs all of the information and I didn’t want to be worried. Looking around the hospice and having all of the answers put my mind at ease.

It is my way of dealing with things. It is hard to think that Dad won’t see me grow older and we will miss out on so much together but time is of the essence and I don’t want to fill the time we do have left together with fear. When I looked around the hospice I think the part that stood out the most for me was the Memorial Garden. I know that when I need it I will find comfort from just being in there, listening to the waterfall, and having a calming and safe place to feel my emotions.
I know as time goes on that my feelings may change. I have been in touch with the Family Support Team and I know they are there when I need them. I want to be really brave but no one wants to watch their dad die and until you have been through it I am not sure anyone knows how they are going to feel, being as prepared as I can be I hope helps me cope better in the future.

Both my dad and grandad were born on the 11th day so when I was thinking of marathons, 11 felt like the right number. I was determined to do it! On day one I started out at Sproatley Church which is where Grandad is buried and a place we feel close to him. Ten of the marathons were in and around Hull, every day I finished in East Park. I am a teacher and one of my favourite runs was 26 laps of East Park where a different child from my class ran with me each mile. It meant so much to me. I made them their own little sponsorship form to raise their own money and gave each of them a medal at the end.

The last marathon on day 11 was in Leeds and I couldn’t believe I had done it…and I had managed to run every single of the 288.2 miles in support of Dove House! And I didn’t even feel that bad after!
I am so thankful that the hospice will be there to help us all as a family through Dad’s last days, I don’t know how we would cope otherwise.

To sign up to a challenge in support of the hospice click here