Family and friends of a much loved mum who died from cancer have taken on the ‘Bristol Three Peaks’ to raise money for the hospice which cared for her.
Angela Curnow from Emersons Green was cared for by St Peter’s Hospice after being diagnosed with cancer in February 2020.
To say thank you to the hospice for the ‘incredible’ care she received, her family has now launched a fundraising drive, starting with walking the Bristol Three Peaks and raising £11,640.
Angela, 55, who worked as a payroll supervisor at Bristol University, started to feel unwell in December 2019 complaining of pains in her stomach and feeling bloated.
After going on holiday, in January she visited her GP where she underwent a number of tests and scans.
The following month she was given the devastating news that she had cancer in her stomach lining and appendix – and that it was already stage 4.
Angela then underwent a course of chemotherapy, but later scans showed that the treatment had not worked.
She was then offered a different type of chemotherapy which she and the family declined.
Daughter Hollie said: “The second round of treatment would have been very invasive and the consultant said it would extend her life by around three months.
“We decided as a family that we wouldn’t go ahead with it.”
In September, after further discussions with the consultant, Angela was referred to St Peter’s Hospice.
“She was offered phone support by the community nurse specialists who also visited mum a couple of times,” said Hollie.
“It was so reassuring to have their support.”
By October, Angela’s condition had continued to worsen and she was admitted to Southmead Hospital.
After two weeks in hospital a decision was taken for her to be admitted to the hospice.
“The hospital found mum had blockages in her bowel and stomach and it was felt the best place for her was the hospice,” said Hollie.
Holly said the hospice team were ‘incredible’ with her mum.
“The care they gave her was incredible,” she said.
“As a family we were shellshocked and overwhelmed at what was happening.
“We had no idea what a hospice would be like.
“But as soon as she got there they made us all feel so settled and comfortable.”
Angela was also a massive fan of Christmas and used to watch festive films all year round.
“Each year she would always pull out all the stops at Christmas and we always had an amazing time,” said Hollie.
The hospice organised to bring Christmas Day forward, so the family could celebrate together.
“The staff at the hospice made such an effort to find out about mum and the sort of person she was,” said Hollie.
“To be able to bring Christmas forward so we could all celebrate together and mum could be with her family was amazing.
“They put up decorations and provided festive food and played Christmas music.
“It was so special to spend that time together.
“We wanted to make things as normal as possible for mum, despite the circumstances.”
Angela passed away on November 3 surrounded by her loving family.
Hollie then read on Bristol Live about the precarious financial situation the hospice was facing after losing £2 million in income due to the coronavirus pandemic and decided the family should fundraise to help.
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Hollie and her partner, dad Russell, brother Josh and his partner were joined by their cousins and aunt for the walk on December 12.
“It was freezing and wet but we wanted to do something in mum’s memory and to raise money for the hospice,” said Hollie.
The family covered 16.7 miles starting in Chew Magna before going through Norton Malreward, Pensford, Hunstreet and Clutton and back to Chew Magna.
The route takes in the ‘peaks’ of Maes Knoll, Blackberry Hill and Knowle Hill.
“I don’t know how we would have coped without the support of the hospice,” said Hollie, 26.
“It was 100 per cent the right place for mum to be.
“The staff were so open with us all about explaining what would happen and they were calm and supportive and here when we needed them most.
“To see them struggling financially is heartbreaking and we wanted to do our bit to ensure the charity can continue its work and support others in their time of need as they did with us.”
The family is planning further fundraisers for the hospice later this year.
The hospice launched its When It Matters Most campaign, backed by Bristol Live, last year with the aim of recouping the £2 million it has lost due to the pandemic.
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