“You become part of the St Catherine’s family”
Aneesha Patel was one of our fantastic London Marathon runners in April 2023. She tells us how witnessing her grandmother’s care inspired her to take up the iconic race!
“In 2021 my grandmother became very ill very quickly. The hospital suggested the hospice could help, and one evening two nurses came over to my gran’s house. Within about three seconds of arriving everyone felt at ease. They were the kindest, most loving people. Every time they came, they took amazing care of my gran.
“They even took care of us, checking if we were ok and asking if we’d had a rest. They spotted I was wearing the same pyjamas for five days, and asked how I was doing.
“Every time they came, they just brought so much positivity and energy into a really difficult situation. My gran largely spoke Gujarati, so my mum or I translated for her, but the nurses had so much warmth and took time to try and communicate and explain what they were doing.
“People always imagine that no one can take care of you like your family. But honestly, I think St Catherine’s can, and they did. They did everything possible, and I honestly couldn’t have asked for anyone better to take care of my gran.
“After my gran died, I decided to fundraise for the hospice. I’m a keen runner and have always wanted to run the London marathon, I’ve entered the ballot 13 years straight and never got in! I decided to run for St Catherine’s and raise as much money as possible because I couldn’t believe that it relies on fundraising and donations.
“The fundraising team were brilliant. They sent out a list of events they were organising and provided a big pack of fundraising and cheering materials that I dished out to all my friends! They also checked in regularly to see how my training and fundraising was going.
“On the day of the marathon the cheering squad was incredible. I’d missed seeing my Mum and brother, and I was so excited and happy when I passed St Catherine’s and heard them cheering for me. The race was hard – I didn’t find it easy and I found it really emotional – but it was an amazing experience.
“My mum has also run a couple of marathons and organised a curry and quiz night for St Catherine’s. We’ve both been so impressed by all the support we’ve received, we’re planning to fundraise every year. I’m not sure Mum’s knees could take another marathon, but we just want to give something back.
“It feels as though the support we’ve had from the fundraising team is an extension of the care we received for my gran. You become a part of this St Catherine’s family. Everyone really takes care of each other, whether it’s actually caring for someone when they’re physically unwell or taking care of you when you’re raising money. As a patient, or as an individual fundraiser, St Catherine’s really make you feel like you matter.”
If you would like to take part in an event for St Catherine’s click here to find out what’s on offer.