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Daughter to run Santathon for dad

When Donna Collins signed up to Santathon last year, she had no idea her dad would soon be needing our specialist end of life care services.  
Donna Collins with her niece Marie Bryant and her son Oliver (cropped)

Ken SL-R Nephew Steven Foley, niece Marie Bryant, Donna Collins and front Marie's son Olivertiff, 82, was admitted to hospital in December last year with what was believed to be pneumonia and Donna decided to take part in the 5k run around Dagenham to cheer him up.  


Unfortunately, tests soon discovered he had bowel and lung cancer and he was given just two weeks to live.  


Ken was referred and our Hospice at Home team enabled Ken to fulfil his wish to die at his Dagenham home with his family by his side on January 3. 


"I signed up for the Santathon as a bit of a joke before I knew my dad had cancer," said Donna, who is a Mid-day assistant at Grafton Primary School.  


"He thought it was funny and said I was mad to go running around in the cold.  "With my dad, his cancer came out of the blue.  


"We never thought we'd need the hospice - nobody does and that is why it is so important that people support it."  L-R Nephew Steven Foley, niece Marie Bryant, Donna Collins and front Marie's son Oliver


Donna also received support from the 24-hour Specialist Advice Line helpline which is run by our Community Nurse Specialists and says it helped to know there was always someone there to  call if she needed support and advice. 


Santathon was postponed due to snow and when Donna took part with her niece and nephew in March, it was an emotional experience but it was also great fun! 


"I really love wearing my red Santa suit," said Donna. "This time I will be doing it with my son George and we are really looking forward to it. 


"It is really good fun and a great event to bring the community together to raise money for the hospice." 


A lifelong West Ham fan, Donna is excited Sir Trevor Brooking will be at Dagenham and Redbridge to chat with supporters and send them on their way! 


Click here to sign up today or call our events team on 01708 771 404. 


It costs just £15 for an adult, £8 for under 16s and £30 for a family (2 adults and 2 children). Santa suits are included in the price! 


Check in opens at 9.30am and the fun run starts at 11am.  


More photos from our Santathon in March! 


L-R Nephew Steven Foley, niece Marie Bryant, Donna Collins and front Marie's son Oliver


L-R Nephew Steven Foley, niece Marie Bryant, Donna Collins and front Marie's son Oliver

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