Fenland man dons running shoes in tribute to hospice at home service which cared for beloved great uncle
A grateful Fenland family are fundraising to say thank-you to a service that allowed their beloved great uncle to die with dignity at home.
Former March rugby player Kevin Steward donned his running shoes at the weekend to complete his first ever half-marathon run around his home village.
Kev, who was cheered on by his wife Deb and their daughters Rebecca, Eve and Cambria, with grandsons Ethan and Jacob, eight, pounded the streets of Manea on Saturday to complete the 13.1 mile run in aid of the Arthur Rank charity's hospice at home service. While third daughter Eve cheered him on from home as she was unable to attend.
Nurses from the service, which is based at the Arthur Rank run Hudson Cancer Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech, helped care for Kev's great uncle Kenneth Ellinor, in the final week of his life, which he spent with Kev and Deb.
Kenneth, a widower and former agricultural worker and his late wife Brenda did not have children of their own but were extremely close to Kev and his family.
Kenneth, 86, wanted to die at home with his family and thanks to Arthur Rank Hospice at Home - which provides the level of care including pain relief normally found in a hospital or hospice - he was able to do that.
Deb explained: "Uncle Ken was with us for eight weeks before he died on Easter Saturday - I made a promise when Aunty Brenda died that we would look after him and so it was wonderful that we were able to have him at home with us.
"The nurses did a fantastic job looking after him and we are so grateful to Arthur Rank for the care he received.
"Running a half marathon was on Kev's bucket list and so he decided it would be a nice idea to run one in aid of the hospice at home service, which allowed Uncle Ken to die peacefully with his family by his side - the nurses provided a very personal level care in the week leading up to his death and they made such a huge difference.
"We wanted to raise money to say thank-you for that, and also to help raise awareness of the service, because it is still relatively new and not everyone is aware it is available."
Initially 58-year-old Kev wanted to raise around £300 by his efforts, but he has more than smashed that target with the total raised so far currently standing at £1,269.
Donations can be made via the much-loved website here.