Marie Curie Cancer Care

Health and Welfare

Marie Curie Nurses provide care and support for people with terminal illnesses and for their families. This is an account by Julie, whose dad Paul was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2015. He died later the same year.

“I was always Daddy’s little girl; it was always like that ever since I was born, up to being aged 33! When I was growing up, during the summer holidays I would go with him whilst he was at work and help him where I could, and if not I would sit and watch him. He was my hero. We loved doing things together. We always did car boots and auctions together every Thursday night and every Sunday; it was our thing.

“I would go over and see him every Father’s Day – it was always nice to just get together. I’d bring him a card and a bar of dark chocolate, which was his favourite. We’d sit and chat for a few hours and enjoy a Chinese meal together.

“When Dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2015, he was kept in hospital for a month after being told, which he found really isolating and lonely. The one thing my dad wanted then was to die at home in his own surroundings and with people he loved. He was eventually able to come home, and in his final weeks we had help from the Marie Curie Nurses to help my mum care for him.

“I was nervous about it at first, but once we had met the nurses I felt supported, and it was great my mum could get a break from being Dad’s carer and get some rest. The night Dad passed, I remember the nurse helping us so much; he rang the doctor, offered us a cup of tea, and just generally sorted everything for us. I tell you something, that was a Godsend at that time!

“I have a six year old girl, Lacee, and she talks about Dad every day. She always looks at the brightest star in the sky, as Granddad told her that star would be him looking down on us.”

In 2016 the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust’s donation of £19,000 was matched by the NHS. This helped to fund the provision of a Marie Curie nurse in the district of Folkestone and Hythe, Kent, for one year. A further donation of £3000 was made in 2018.