St Catherine's Hospice Santa Dash is opportunity for Preston family to pay tribute to "one in a million" mum
A Lancashire family has a special reason for setting out on a Santa Dash this year.
The Pearson family of Preston wants to raise even more funds for St Catherine' s Hospice at Lostock Hall and honour the memory of loving mum and wife Rachel Pearson.
Now Ian, Claudia and Henry Pearson are also urging other local residents to take up the Santa challenge and join the hospice charity’s sponsored Santa Dash on December 5 in memory of their own loved ones or just for fun.
Husband Ian, daughter Claudia and son Henry said specialist care from St Catherine's meant Rachel was free from pain during the last weeks of her life and could make "special memories" with them at home.
The "one in a million mum" also helped her family plan for their futures during those precious weeks.
Since her death in June 2020, some five months after being diagnosed with lung cancer, the family has raised more than £6,000 for the hospice.
Claudia, 25, said: “Mum was very much a family person and having her family and friends around her was the most important factor. Her biggest challenge was that she wished to be pain-free but also fully aware of what was going on around her. Between St Catherine’s, her district nurses and my dad, they managed to achieve that, which allowed us to spend quality time together and know she wasn’t suffering, which was comforting for all of us.
“Those few weeks that she was at home will stay with me forever. We have so many nice memories full of laughter and positivity, as was her nature. We chatted as a family and individually about what the rest of our lives had in store. I will always remember her wanting to help me plan my future wedding, and we talked about what type of dress I was going to wear and who I would invite. We miss her every day and those special occasions in the future will be extra difficult without her, but she has left a wonderful legacy.”
Rachel, was diagnosed with cancer in January 2020. The personal tutor at Runshaw College was in and out of hospital until April 2020, when she was referred to the St Catherine’s Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS), who provide specialised palliative and end-of-life care for people in their own homes. She died just weeks later in June 2020, aged 52.
Ian, also 52, said: “Rachel tackled everything so positively and with the best attitude to life. She loved to travel and explore new places, and she enjoyed having people round and cooking good food. She absolutely loved her job and always went to work and came home with a smile on her face. People would comment that they always felt so at ease talking to her because she was so funny, kind and caring; she brought love, happiness and positivity to everyone she met.”
Henry, 22, added: “The care Mum received in her final weeks was outstanding; friendly and very professional, yet totally human. The nurses are exceptional, and we are totally in awe of everything they do. They went above and beyond for us; our St Catherine’s community nurse even visited us after Mum passed away to talk about how the hospice could help us as a family.”
The Pearsons were determined to help St Catherine’s raise much-needed funds,and have already taken part in the Hospice's Moonlight and Memories Walk fundraisers and last year’s Santa Dash both in honour of Rachel and to give thanks to the charity.
* The three-mile St Catherine's Hospice Santa Dash fun run returns to Preston Docks on December 5 or supporters can choose to take on the challenge in their own time this December. Registration is £10 for adults and £5 for children, which includes a Santa suit and medal.
To join the St Catherine's Santa Dash visit www.stcatherines.co.uk or call 01772 629171 or see here * For our report on the hospice's Regular Giving campaign see here and hereFor details of the Hospice's In The Frame fundraiser see here * The Lancashire Post is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. For unlimited access to Lancashire news and information online, you can subscribe here.