Hoole girl’s hospice tribute to late father
The death of her beloved father from a rare form of prostate cancer earlier this year left seven-year-old Keri Joyce heartbroken.
But this remarkable little girl from Hoole is determined to keep his memory alive by doing all she can for the hospice that treated her dad so well in his final weeks.
Keri and her mum Shirley had to pull together to support Dave through intense and gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy after his diagnosis, and were devastated when he lost his battle last May at the age of 49.
But with the help of the Hospice of the Good Shepherd’s family bereavement support network, Keri has been talking to qualified counsellors and sharing her feelings about the loss of her dad, and has been attending their Remembering Days workshops, which give families the opportunity to get together and participate in activities such as arts and crafts to remember their loved ones.
And determined to celebrate the good times she shared with her dad, Keri has also designed this year’s ‘Share a Card’ to help raise funds for the hospice.
This encourages businesses and community groups to make a donation in lieu of the money they would have otherwise spent sending individual cards to each other.
And Keri, who attends Hoole C of E Primary School, has even been given the special honour of being asked to officially turn on the hospice’s Christmas tree lights this festive season.
Chief executive Steve Hoy said: “Christmas is a poignant time of year for many, where we like to remember our loved ones as well as enjoy the festive celebrations.
“We like to make Christmas special for our patients, their families, our staff and volunteers and I can think of no better way than for Keri to help us light up the hospice at this festive time of year.
“It will no doubt be an emotional time for Keri and her mum this Christmas and the hospice are here to support them through their difficult times.”
Mum Shirley added: “Keri is such a strong little girl and perks me up on difficult days, reminding me to think about all the good times. She was delighted when she was asked to turn on the lights at the hospice, they have been so supportive to us.
“We will never forget Dave, he was an amazing husband and father and we will miss him greatly. The bond between myself and Keri will be very special and I am so thankful that the hospice have been there to support myself, Dave and Keri at such a difficult time in our lives.”