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Marion's Story

Christmassy Background-01

Being told her cancer had returned and was inoperable was a big shock to Marion. However, with the support of husband Ian, children David and Anna, and five grandchildren, she is enjoying life, making memories and looking forward to a family Christmas. Here Marion, of Horsmonden, explains why she hopes you will support the Hospice this year so many more families, like hers, can enjoy the magic of Christmas.

“We are very lucky to have what we’ve got, me and Ian. I’m lucky to have a lovely husband. Between us we manage to look after each other. He’s amazing. I can’t begin to understand how hard this is for Ian, David and Anna.”

Hear Marion share her story

Marion and her Grandson, Sonny

My family

“Seeing the family is very, very important to me. My five grandchildren – Ruby, Oliver, Lottie, Sonny and Dulcie – are just fantastic. I don’t want them to be sad.

All the children know I’m unwell, but we try to keep it as normal as possible and the grandchildren certainly help. And I’ve got more friends than I ever realised; everyone is just very supportive.

With the lockdown and my treatment and compromised immune system, it hasn’t been the easiest. This year we decided we just want to get some normality back in our lives. Well, as normal a life as we can.”

Marion, smiling at the camera

My ideal Christmas

“My ideal Christmas would be to have everyone here, all the family together. Or possibly get invited somewhere so I don’t have to do the cooking! I want to get as many Christmases in as I can.

All the grandchildren write letters to Santa, just as we did with our children – it’s all part of the magic of Christmas. And they love Nana’s special Christmas boxes.

These are big boxes and get filled with lots of clothes, a few toys, maybe a naughty sweet or two. Ian helps me, we wrap them and put on lots of bows and ribbons to make them as sparkly as possible.”

“I do try to live in hope and be positive. So many people say ‘you are amazing, Marion’, but I’ve got no choice. I could cry my eyes out, and do have bad days, but I don’t want to live like that. I’ve made the decision that I’m going to enjoy everything and appreciate everything for as long as possible.”

Hand castings Marion completed in Living Well

Making memories

“I’ve been going to Living Well at the Hospice. It’s calm, happy – everyone is lovely. I’ve had massages and thought the hand casts would be a nice, personal thing for the children and the grandchildren, for along the line somewhere, or even now.

We’ve all done them now; clay casts of us all holding hands. I’d never really thought about making memories like this before going to the Hospice, it’s lovely.”

Marion and her Husband, Ian

Counselling and Support

“I’m also accessing counselling at the Hospice, which has helped me quite a lot. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders to know Ian and the children have also got someone to talk to. I’ve realised since going to the Hospice, that there is something for them, that they aren’t going to be left on their own. Whatever happens, the Hospice will be there for them, because they are all going to need it.

I’m really grateful for the support that others have given the Hospice which enables me to access all these things. That’s why I hope that you too will support the Hospice so that many more patients like me – and our families – can enjoy the magic of Christmas together.”