Stuart raises £3.8k for ‘angels in disguise’ at Marie Curie Hospice

Stuart Graham and his children Molly and Josh with his father-in-law Robert, Chris's wife Julie Lavery and Chris and Julie's son Robbie .
Stuart Graham and his children Molly and Josh with his father-in-law Robert, Chris's wife Julie Lavery and Chris and Julie's son Robbie .

A Lisburn man has raised almost £4,000 for a hospice which looked after his brother-in-law in the latter stages of his two year battle with cancer.

Father-of-two Stuart Graham recently handed over a cheque for £3,866 to the Marie Curie Hospice in Belfast, where his 50-year-old brother-in-law Chris Lavery was cared for before he passed away on October 9 last year.

Chris Lavery passed away on October 9, 2017 after a two-year battle with cancer.

Chris Lavery passed away on October 9, 2017 after a two-year battle with cancer.

“Losing Chris has left a huge hole in our family,” Stuart explained. “During Chris’s illness he spent more than 29 weeks in the Marie Curie Hospice on the Kensington Road in Belfast.

“The work and care that the hospice provide for terminally patients like Chris and their families is incredible. Words cannot describe the staff at Marie Curie, only that they are simply angels in disguise.”

Stuart raised the money through sponsorship by completing two marathons and a half marathon. And he’s grateful to everyone who helped him far exceeded his original fundraising target.

“In memory of Chris we wanted to give something back to them,” the Tesco employee continued. “I ran the Belfast Marathon, Lisburn Half Marathon and the Dublin Marathon last year to help raise much needed funds for the hospice. All donations were donated to the Kensington Road hospice.

Stuart Graham with his children Molly and Josh at the finish of the Dublin Marathon 2017.

Stuart Graham with his children Molly and Josh at the finish of the Dublin Marathon 2017.

“My original target was to raise £1,000 but it just sort of snowballed and people kept making donations, so I was actually able to hand over £3,866 which is way more than I thought I would get. We are very grateful to everyone who donated.

“I spent quite a bit of time in the hospice with my brother-in-law right up until he passed away, and to see the nurses in operation every day, they are unbelievable. The job they do is simply amazing. I just wanted to raise the money for these people who helped us so much.”

Stuart continued: “Never did we think our family would need the help and support of Marie Curie, which is an organisation that relies on public donations and they care for all types of terminally ill patients. The support we received in Chris’s last days was totally overwhelming.

“We received great support from many, many people and were very grateful to them all.”