A butcher battling lung cancer is helping to break down myths about hospices after admitting he wrongly believed they were gloomy places where people went to die.
Peter Fitzpatrick, 58, of Fishwick, Preston, who has lung cancer, attends St Catherine’s Hospice in Lostock Hall, near Preston, as a day therapy patient.
The grandfather of seven who is married to Jillian, is supporting Hospice Care Week, which this year has the theme “Be Surprised”.
He wants to dispel many of the common misconceptions people hold about hospices - something he was guilty of before he began attending day therapy sessions.
Peter said: “When I was first asked about attending the hospice, I was very reluctant to go.
“I thought St Catherine’s was a place you go to die, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“It is a place you go to live. Now I believe it is one of the best moves I have ever made in my life.”
Peter became ill in 2008 when he needed to have a kidney removed because of a cancerous tumour and was soon after diagnosed with lung cancer.
The condition forced him to give up his much-loved job as a butcher, which had a huge emotional impact.
But since attending the weekly sessions at the hospice where he takes part in group activities and has access specialised nursing care, his life has changed significantly.
Peter said: “St Catherine’s is absolutely fantastic. You don’t even think about your illness when you’re here. It is such a happy place to be.”
“The biggest thing I get out of coming to St Catherine’s is speaking to different people who are going through similar experiences.”
Jimmy Brash, director of care at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “Hospice Care Week is a wonderful way to promote hospice care and the difference it makes to people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.”