A Lisburn woman whose father died of lung cancer four years ago will be taking part in the Walk Ten at Stormont in August for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Audra Wright, whose father Seamus Skelton (66) past away in June 18, 2010, held a coffee morning on Saturday in mark his anniversary and raised £850.
In the past four years her family have helped raise over £10,000 for the charity, by holding coffee mornings.
In the latter stages of their fathers life, the charity helped care for him and provided bereavement support for the family after his passing.
Audra (47) is keen to promote the work of Marie Curie and to encourage people to get involved in the annual fundraising drive, Walk Ten.
Audra from Knocknadarragh Park lost her daddy just months after she married.
In the run up to her wedding, mother-of-three Audra noticed that her father who was suffering from flu like symptoms and generally not feeling well.
He promised her that when she was off on her honeymoon cruise that he would go to the GP to find out what was wrong with him.
Seamus gave up smoking 15 years before, because of a heart complaint so was surprised to find out that his illness was related to tumours in his lung.
Various biopsies and scans were completed but it was not until December that father and daughter were told that he was terminally ill with just months to live.
“Before then, we believed that he could be operated on,” said Audra. “So it was a shock to hear that they were not going to operate and that the cancer had spread and that he had only six months to live.
“We were told that any chemotherapy that he might get would only prolong his life by just a few months.
“He was offered instead just five days of radiotherapy. We were told that the cancer had spread to his other lung so they could not operate.”
Seamus made the decision that he would fight the cancer and they made the decision to pack in as much as they could in just the short time that they had together.
“He still played golf three times a week which he continued to do,” said Audra. “
“Daddy was a fit and healthy and even though he had smoked most of his life he gave up 15 years. He believed that he could just fight it. We were devastated we could just not get over it.”
Father and daughter spent as much time together going on spa weekends together and various outings. However when Seamus went to Donegal in April 2010 he took poorly.
Fluid had built up in his legs and he was taken to the City Hospital where he remained for nine weeks.
The last nine days of his life he spent at the Marie Curie Centre in Belfast.
“My daddy made a decision to fight it,” said Audra. “He had a good attitude but it was not to be.”
He sadly passed away on June 18, 2010.
“At Marie Curie the staff were exceptional and gave him such professional care,” said Audra. “It was like moving into a five star hotel.
“I was so grateful for everything that they did for my dad that I wanted to do something for them so i started to hold coffee morning around the anniversary of his death. It’s only this year that I and my husband decided to do the Walk Ten. I thought it would be a fitting tribute to him. When we first held the coffee morning I thought if I raise just £10 it will be £10 for a good cause I never believed that we would have raised £10,000.”
This year’s 10K walks will be taking place at Stormont Estate on 30th August and at the Folk Park in Omagh on 6th September 6.
The events aim to raise as much money as possible to allow Marie Curie to continue to provide free nursing care to terminally ill people in their own homes and at the Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast.
For more information visit www.mariecurie.org.uk or go to their Facebook page www.facebook.com/mariecurieuk or follow them on www.twitter.com/mariecurieuk